Lake Country, Enderby, Summerland racing to have first cannabis store in Okanagan

Two shops in Lake Country are now waiting for provincial approval

Lake Country is now in a race to have the first recreational cannabis store in the Okanagan.

Council reversed its decision and approved of a variance and business bylaws which allows a recreational cannabis store to operate at Turtle Bay Crossing.

Around 40 residents arrived to hear the decision and voice their support for the decision, including a member of the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce who offered his approval of the business, during a regular council meeting Tuesday night.

Mayor James Baker gave council a second go at deciding whether to adjust a 400 metre buffer between the cannabis store and a daycare operating on a temporary use permit, which allows Compass Cannabis Clinic to transform into its retail arm Starbuds, during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

“I wanted to make sure we heard from the (applicants.) If we had heard from them at the first meeting, it probably would have passed,” Baker said. “We still don’t know what the ramifications might be with people hanging out, smoking up near the daycare, but we don’t see that the liquor store (at Turtle Bay Crossing) is any more (dangerous.)”

Founder of Compass Cannabis Clinic, Dave Martyn was happy to hear the decision.

“Being headquartered in Kelowna, this Lake Country location means a lot to us. We are thankful that the mayor and council gave us another chance to present our case, and also listen to the residents of Lake Country. ‘BC Bud’ is a term recognized globally within the cannabis industry, so we’re proud that the first stores we will be opening are based in British Columbia. It’s been a long road, and our local partners Celine and Gavin have put in countless hours bringing this dream to life. We’re excited to bring recreational cannabis to the Okanagan,” he said in an emailed statement.

However, Compass Cannabis is not without contenders.

Monti Cahley, who said he is helping with the business development for another cannabis retailer in the district’s town centre at 9685 Highway 97, said the cannabis store could be open next week.

READ MORE: Cannabis store application receives approval from Summerland council

The company has already obtained a business licence from the district, and is currently just waiting on a name change approval from the province, he said.

Summerland is still contending with Lake Country for the first opening spot. 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. Enderby also joined the running as its city council approved of its referrals Dec. 17.

READ MORE: Enderby gives green light to pot shop

In Kelowna, the city doesn’t expect its first facility to be in operation until the spring of 2019. West Kelowna did not give a time frame of when its first facility would be open but has limited the number of shops to four. Peachland does not currently allow recreational shops in the district.

Vernon’s earliest deadline for processing applications is in January, while Penticton is still in the process of developing its regulatory framework.

Oscar Barnes with the board for the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce, asked council to reconsider its decision and supported the variance change as a representative of the board.

After being hit by a car, a Lake Country man said he used prescription drugs, which had negative long-term effects. He began using marijuana oil which helps him sleep, he said, and he was able to quit taking prescription drugs.

“I’m a big advocate of medical marijuana,” he said, and gave his support for the pot store.

READ MORE: Lake Country residents give letters of support for cannabis store

Ben Goerner, who has been an addictions counsellor for 30 years said he’s never seen a marijuana overdose and asked council to approve it.

Coun. Cara Reed asked if council was being fair with the other cannabis store in the town centre if council approves of this variance since the other store is already following the district’s bylaws.

Coun. Blair Ireland agreed with Reed, but got off the fence and voted in favour of the store. Coun. Todd McKenzie and Coun. Bill Scarrow already gave their support for the variance previously and voiced it again during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Council unanimously passed the motion to approve of both the variance and bylaw after some discussion. The audience clapped.

The cost for a retail licence in Lake Country is $550.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Evacuation alert for homes near Dry Lake fire rescinded

Fire status changed to Under Control, crews remain on site patrolling and extinguishing hot spots

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

COLUMN: Listen to those who know about COVID-19

Accurate information is essential when understanding the pandemic

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Ryga Arts Festival to include live events

Arts festival in Summerland will feature live and online performances

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Fundraiser launched for West Kelowna family who lost their home to fire

The family’s Sunview Drive home was destroyed after an accidental fire on Aug. 6

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

B.C. health minister applauds Kelowna Mayor, council for COVID-19 outbreak response

‘I think they are a model of how we respond’ - said Health Minister Adrian Dix

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Vernon social justice group rallies to raise awareness for human trafficking victims

Indigenous women make up 4 per cent of Canadian population, 50 per cent of trafficking victims

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Most Read