Cranbrook City Council has given the green light to a government-operated cannabis retail store in the community after approving an appropriate zoning amendment.
Amending the current zoning of the parcel of land immediately south of Cranbrook’s Save-On-Foods, City Council unanimously approved to permit “Government Cannabis retail” as a permissible use.
“The zoning on that piece of property is not under our C-1, C-2 zoning,” explained Lee Pratt, Mayor of Cranbrook. “We had already passed the bylaw for allowing the cannabis stores in those zones, but this is zoned C-5 which wasn’t covered under that, so it was just more of a housekeeping item to include it into the C-5 zoning.”
C-5 is classified as a Shopping Centre Zone, which didn’t allow for any cannabis retail store, whether private or government-owned and operated.
The applicant, who owns the BC Liquor Store on Lot 3 in the C-5 Zone, had already entered into an agreement with the Province to operate a government-approved “BC Cannabis Store” pending the zoning amendment from Cranbrook City Council.
Prior to making their decision, a Public Hearing was held on the matter.
Only one resident verbally voiced their concerns at Cranbrook City Council on Monday, hoping that Mayor and Council would consider a 300-metre buffer from any parks, playgrounds, schools, or residential areas.
Seeing as the proposed cannabis retail store met Cranbrook’s current bylaw requirements of a 100-metre buffer zone, Cranbrook City Council unanimously approved the zoning amendment.
“The province makes the rules and regulations and they’re going to be in control of it so I guess, realistically, who are we to say no you can’t have one,” said Pratt. “Other applicants, they get approval from the Province and then they have to get approved by the Council before it can proceed but who are we to tell a Province, who makes the rules and regulations, that no, you can’t do it?”
Because the application was for a government-operated cannabis retail store and not a private cannabis retail store, the applicant can now proceed to apply for a business license rather than needing further approval from the B.C. Government, which other private retailers would have to do.
It’s not expected that the proposed BC Cannabis Store will appear in front of Cranbrook City Council again as the City of Cranbrook staff will now be overseeing the business license application and the construction of the retail location.