Like the scent of smoke, the application for a fifth cannabis retail store in downtown Salmon Arm will linger.
Rather than denying or approving the application, on Monday night city council adjourned a hearing for the store, pending the province’s decision on two other pot outlets proposed for the downtown core.
City staff had recommended council simply deny the application from Quantum 1 Cannabis Corp for the former Windmill Meats site on Lakeshore because council has already approved four applications for downtown, the maximum number permitted in the city’s cannabis policy.
Quantum’s application is the sixth the city has received for downtown and the ninth city-wide.
However, applicant Kwan Lee told council on May 27 his company did not realize there were already four applications for the downtown core when it submitted its own to the province. Applications must be approved by B.C’s’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch as well as by city council.
He said when it was learned some of the applications the city had okayed hadn’t yet received approval from the province, Quantum 1 decided to ask council to defer the city hearing pending the provincial decisions. He said a few factors could lead to denial by the province, such as failing security.
“If they do (get approval), fair enough… If they don’t, we would like to be considered.”
Coun. Sylvia Lindgren, who made the initial motion to defer Quantum 1’s hearing until the province makes its decisions, changed her motion to ‘adjourn’ the hearing on the advice of CAO Carl Bannister. That way there would be no need to set a date for the hearing to return.
The rest of council supported the move to adjourn except Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond who was absent and Coun. Chad Eliason.
Eliason argued he thinks it’s unfair to create a policy, stick to a policy and then throw the policy out the window.
He said staff have been told only four cannabis retail stores will be allowed downtown, so when the fifth applicants, Hive Cannabis, approached staff and were told council had already approved four stores, they elected to not apply.
Lindgren said council is not contravening the four-store policy; it is simply saying it’s OK to have someone waiting in the wings should the province deny the other applications.
The two of four cannabis retail stores supported by council that have received provincial approval so far are the Greenery at 190 Trans-Canada Hwy. and Downtown Cannabis, approved in principle, at 111 Lakeshore Dr. NE. Awaiting provincial approval are Eden at 191 Shuswap St. NW and Salmon Arm Cannabis at 81 Shuswap St. NW.