The Liquor Cannabis and Regulation Branch (LRCB) has the final say on the application. (File photo)

Clearwater District Council to vote on first cannabis store on Feb. 4

The District of Clearwater is still deliberating on approving a non-medical cannabis retail store license application. A public meeting was held by the district on Jan. 21, with no push back present. Council will vote on the matter on Feb. 4.

It is the first application of its type in Clearwater and is proposed to be in the Clearwater Centre (formerly known as the Brookfield Mall) area at Unit 3 on 74 Young Rd.

The proposal meets the council’s policy on liquor and cannabis application and the zone of the location is already approved for the sale of those substances, meaning no rezoning is needed.

As it is the first application, it also meets the limit of three cannabis retail locations in the district. It is also 150 metres away from schools and developed parks. The proposed hours of operation (9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Sunday) were the only source of contention from residents of the district.

At the regular council meeting at 2. p.m (which also contained a public meeting for the matter), one woman prefacing that she was supportive of the proposal wondered about the hours and the fact that school children have a bus stop in the parking lot of the proposed location.

“I know that we’ve brought up that there is no school close, but kids do get off the school bus in the parking lot and do walk through to get to their houses after school. The other thing is why does it have to open until 11 p.m. at night?” Leslie Downs said. “It’s pretty quiet back there and I’m kind of used to that.”

Council – chaired by Coun. Lynne Frizzle in Mayor Merlin Blackwell’s absence – agreed to take her concerns into consideration.

At the second public hearing at 6 p.m. (on the same day), no concerns were spoken and the only word council heard was from a letter, voicing support for the plans of the cannabis retail store put forward.

“As a neighbouring commercial business and real estate owner, I am in full support of the new pot shop proposal. Lots of parking, far away from school, more commercial traffic at this side of town, it’s a win-win for all as it’s now a fully legal business operation. Hours of operation seem fine as well. We are happy to support such an initiative,” the letter stated.

While the Liquor Cannabis and Regulation Branch (LRCB) has the final say if the licencing goes through if the council recommends against it, the LCRB are more than likely to deny it as well.

The LCRB is meant to take local government input and consider general community impact and views on location from residents through public hearings and submissions. The council will vote on Feb. 4 for approval, denial or approval with conditions.

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