Enderby could be home to the North Okanagan’s first non-medicinal retail cannabis store.
City council approved one of three referral applications for a retail pot shop at a well-attended council meeting Monday, Dec. 17.
“The one application at Unit 4, 802 George Street got the approval to move forward and will be sent to the province so they can try to secure a licence,” Mayor Greg McCune said.
As the application, which was put forward by the Mary Jane Resource Centre, is now before the provincial government, there is currently no exact timeline for when the shop will open.
Vince Tidder, Mary Jane Resource Centre owner, said it will likely be several months before they are able to sell recreational cannabis products.
“I fear that everyone thinks they’ll be able to buy some marijuana now, which isn’t the case,” Tidder said. “We’re pretty much 95 per cent complete on our application.”
Now that the Centre has received municipal support, Tidder said the next steps are to finish the financial and background check portions of the application before submission.
That process, Tidder said, can take upwards of two months.
“I expect we won’t know anything until February,” he said.
McCune said one of council’s reasons for approving the application stems from the substantial community support.
“We were overwhelmed by the community’s support,” Tidder said. “We are here to support the community, not take something from it.”
Over the course of the Centre’s two years in business, Tidder said supporting the community through projects such as Santa’s Anonymous have been a core business principle.
As a medicinal cannabis consultation group, the Centre employs staff educated in prescribing and suggesting product to clients.
Their dedication to the industry is, Tidder believes, why they received support.
“We’ve been working hard for this,” Tidder said. “It was almost a bit of a tear-jerker to watch the community’s support.”
While the Mary Jane Resource Centre’s application was approved, two other applications will not move forward due to community dissent.
A second application at 900 George Street received opposition from a neighbouring chapel and nearby businesses, McCune said. That application will be up for a second reading at a future to allow the applicants to come back with an alternative plan.
Meanwhile, an application for 601A Cliff Avenue was shot down.
“The opposition was just too great,” McCune said. “It’s obvious our community doesn’t want that street to have a cannabis store.”
Council’s support of the Mary Jane Resource Centre’s application means that Enderby is now in the race for first recreational pot shop in the Okanagan.
Lake Country council reversed its decision and approved of a variance and business bylaws Dec. 18. This decision allows a recreational cannabis store to operate at Turtle Bay Crossing.
At a meeting for Summerland’s council Dec. 11, council gave its support to a Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch Application submitted by Green Gaia for a store at Summerfair Shopping Centre. The status of the store’s opening is currently unknown as it is going through the province.