Compass Cannabis is currently operating at Turtle Bay Crossing. —Image: Carli Berry/Capital News

Lake Country looking to be home of first legal pot shop in Okanagan

Licenced store selling recreational cannabis could be open in district by Christmas

Lake Country could be the first municipality in the Okanagan to have a recreational pot shop, according to the founder of a medical facility that’s already in operation in the district.

“We’re potentially going to be the first licence in the Okanagan, which is exciting,” said Dave Martyn, founder of Compass Cannabis Clinic.

B.C. pot shop handed first recreational licence

Lake Country staff have recommended approval of a bylaw variance, which would reduce the buffer requirement between a daycare and Compass Cannabis Clinic from 400 to 150 metres, meaning the shop would be one step closer to being a recreational facility if passed by council Tuesday night.

In the current bylaw, the buffer prevents Compass Cannabis Clinic from operating as a recreational facility.

With the district’s new zoning amendments, recreational cannabis can be sold in the town centre and at Turtle Bay Crossing. There is also no buffer between shops, so they can be located side by side.

So far, this is the only application for a recreational cannabis shop in the district, said planner Paul Dupuis. But the district has had a number of inquiries.

If the variance is approved, a referral will be take to council for consideration at its Dec. 18 regular meeting, he said, but as to when the shop would be able to sell recreational pot is anyone’s guess.

The variance and referral will have to be approved by council and the province will also have to give its permission before a business licence is granted. That can be granted within a week, said Dupuis.

Lake Country also does not have application deadlines for pot shops.

“It’s unknown to the province how long this will take,” he said, as the provincial test involves criminal background checks and financial assessments.

Legal pot shops in the South Okanagan still months in the future

If approved, Compass Cannabis, in partnership with Starbuds, will undergo a redesign at its facility in the Turtle Bay Crossing complex.

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