The City of Kelowna will now look at pot retailers’ applications on a first-come-first-served basis following a decision made at the regular council meeting on Monday, and council learned no cap is being considered at this time.
The first 35 applicants were received in a group last fall and evaluations were completed by city staff with third-party oversight. But now the applications will follow normal rezoning procedures, city planner Dean Strachan said.
“There is no proposal for a cap at this time,” Strachan said. “We are waiting to see how many interested parties we have.”
“There hasn’t been a significant number of interested parties,” he added.
If that number does become “significant,” Strachan said staff will continue to monitor and update policy recommendations if any issues arise.
Interested parties whose applications failed in the first batch have the opportunity to re-apply with an improved proposal. Each proposal will be brought before council for further consideration.
Of the original 35 pot-shop applicants, 15 — four of which moved forward by lottery — were accepted. Seven retailers’ proposals have since been approved by council and await provincial licensing from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.
The city requires pot retailers to be a minimum of 500 metres from each other and 150 metres away from select parks and schools. Applicants must also pay a $1,000 non-refundable application fee and a $9,495 rezoning fee if the proposal is accepted.