THOMAS KERVIN PHOTO Derek Koel, Port McNeill councillor, brought cannabis samples in an effort to destigmatize cannabis-use.

THOMAS KERVIN PHOTO Derek Koel, Port McNeill councillor, brought cannabis samples in an effort to destigmatize cannabis-use.

Kamloops mayor: Fast-food chains more harmful to children than cannabis stores

Kamloops council approves 15th cannabis store application

  • Mar. 6, 2019 9:32 a.m.

-Kamloops this Week

Kamloops council has approved an application to open a cannabis store in a Valleyview strip mall, despite the objection of a nearby business owner.

Kamloops Dance Academy owner Sandi Lewis and multiple dance studio parents opposed the application on the grounds the business serves children, as do schools, near which cannabis shops are prohibited.

Lewis described to city council uncertainty about the impacts of private stores in the community, despite having visited the government store in Sahali.

“I’m looking out for the children,” she said. “I’m looking out for myself.”

The applicant, Michael Koehn, co-founded the Welcome Back Clinic downtown and owns the CannSolve Clinic, a medical cannabis centre in Sahali. He told KTW he plans to move that centre to Valleyview alongside the cannabis store at 2121 East Trans-Canada Hwy.

READ MORE: Province green lights Green Canoe Cannabis

He sympathized with concerns of the dance studio owner and pledged to be a good neighbour

In a letter to council, Lewis noted city regulations restrict cannabis stores from being within 150 metres if a school. Lewis said her studio serves more than 300 students, primarily young children.

“I don’t feel that my facility is any different from an elementary school,” Lewis wrote, noting she would neither want a liquor store beside the studio.

Despite her opposition, council voted unanimously to approve the application, with Coun. Denis Walsh recusing himself due to a conflict of interest as he is pursuing opening a cannabis store downtown.

Coun. Kathy Sinclair called Koehn a “person of integrity” in the community, while Coun. Mike O’Reilly said the city should not set up rules and then change its mind.

“It’s not our job to be moving the goal posts,” he said.

Mayor Ken Christian said he supported the application because the applicant clearly intended to be a good neighbour and the city has recourse through its good neighbour agreement to hold them to account.

Christian said it would be more harmful to have a fast-food restaurant next door to the dance studio than a cannabis store and that it would provide parents an opportunity to discuss cannabis, which is now legal.

He added that fewer empty storefonts would help combat the issue of vagrancy in the community.

“I am going to support this application and I wish them every success,” Christian said.

City of Kamloops property use inspector Dave Jones said the city cited P-3 properties specifically in its zoning bylaw in order to prevent confusion over what constitutes a “school.” The proposed location is in a Valleyview strip mall, zoned C-5 shopping centre commercial.

READ MORE: 15 cannabis retail store applications selected for Kelowna

Jones said stigma continues around negative impacts of cannabis stores, but noted regulations are in place to prevent issues. He said provincial rules limiting advertising. Additionally, the city ties business licences to a good neighbour agreement. =

This was the 16th application to come before city council, with 14 previously approved at the municipal level. Council denied its first cannabis store application last month at 6-685 Tranquille Rd. on the North Shore, following opposition from the Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Metis organization, which raised concerns about impacts on clientele (youth and residential school survivors), crime in the area and parking.

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

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Stolen truck involved in Lake Country hit-and-run

Incident happened on Highway 97 just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read