Clearwater council recently voted in favour of a proposed cannabis shop by Ben Minci, called Interior Cannabis Company, and Minci hopes to open his doors before summer. Photo by Jaime Polmateer

Clearwater council votes in favour of cannabis shop

Decision comes as a relief to entrepreneur after lengthy application process

The District of Clearwater (DOC) council gave a unanimous thumbs-up during the vote for the town’s first proposed retail cannabis store at last week’s council meeting.

Ben Minci, who’s looking to open the Interior Cannabis Company at 3-74 Young Rd. in the Clearwater Centre, formally the Brookfield Shopping Centre, said the vote comes as a relief after nearly a year of going through the application process.

Though the DOC has given its approval, the application has to be finalized by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), though Minci is optimistic there won’t be any problems as it goes through the last stages.

“At this point, I don’t believe there’s any way of not being approved, so it’s more just a matter of time whether the government can get it going sooner rather than later,” Minci said, adding it would be nice if he could open up shop on the red-letter day for marijuana enthusiasts.

“Ideally, I’d like to be open by April 20.”

READ MORE: Proposed cannabis shop to get public hearing

Though Minci doesn’t know for certain if he’ll be open by April 20, he said he’ll likely be open before summer regardless, with hopes to tap into the tourism market.

He added he’s curious to see if Clearwater can support a legal dispensary on its own and he’s optimistic on this point as well.

“I think it’ll be good for the community because I know a lot of older people who are curious about the product and they wouldn’t be the type of people to go to some random person selling it on the street,” he said.

“When you have a store like this you can come in and feel comfortable looking at what you’re buying, talking to the (employees) about what’s in it, how it’s going to make you feel and the benefits; it makes it a bit more of an enjoyable experience.”

READ MORE: Clearwater District Council to vote on first cannabis store

Customers can expect the same products one can find on the B.C. government’s cannabis store website and Minci has also been looking at other merchandise like t-shirts, hoodies and stickers, then the more obvious accessories like pipes, bongs and papers, with the company further expanding its product line as time moves forward.

“Hopefully we can bring some people from outside Clearwater too, people driving by, and that’ll bring more business in general to this area, which seems to have been slowing down a bit.”

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