We know the names and locales of four pot shops Trail council has given the nod to open in town.
But it’s anyone’s guess when the businesses – including a fifth applicant council has yet to consider – will actually open their doors and start selling marijuana to recreational users aged 19 and older.
That’s because of the unknown wait-time each retailer is subject to at the government level, as the province holds all the cards on the issuance of store licences through the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.
In the meantime, Trail council is considering each applicant on a case-by-case basis, including two on Monday. Recommendation, or approval, by local government is critical as it is a required first step before the province will even consider giving out a licence.
This week’s submissions, one in downtown and the other in the Gulch, add to two applications council has already approved since recreational marijuana-use was legalized in Canada on Oct. 17.
Council’s decisions are based on a process set by the city’s zoning bylaw, which elected officials updated earlier this year in anticipation of this type of request.
First of all, the location must be zoned commercial. Secondly, there can be no conflicting land uses within 100 metres of the proposed site, such as a school or recreational facility. And finally, property owners and residents within 50 metres of the proposed place of business must be notified and their views considered.
In the case of the first application this week, “Buddy’s Place” at 1198 Pine Avenue, 42 letters were sent to nearby properties and four responses of opposition were received (three on the agenda plus one late admission).
Council considered the written replies, which focused on how the business may impact traffic and parking as the locale is at the busy intersection of Pine and Farwell. Additionally, respondents were troubled by the location because a church is right across the street, and children are bused along Pine Avenue on school days. Two respondents stated they are already dealing with an increase in the level of nearby drug activity, so the business would be better suited elsewhere.
The second applicant, Greg Amantea, is proposing to open “Bud-A-Bong Shop” at 876 Rossland Avenue. There was no opposition from 21 properties the city notified about the intended use of the former restaurant site.
Prior to these two approvals, council green-lighted “Flora” to open at 1463 Bay Avenue. This site was a former medical supply store, and of the 39 notifications sent out to properties within 50 metres, two replies of opposition are on record. The respondents voiced concern that a dispensary could attract more crime and additional security measures would have be taken because the shop would stay open until 11 p.m.
The first applicant, The Higher Path, which is the former Green Consulting on Cedar Avenue, asked for a council recommendation on Oct. 22. Of 29 letters sent to nearby properties, no responses were received.
The store has since been closed awaiting a licence from the province.