Cariboo Cannabis Sales opened its doors Wednesday, Oct. 16. The store, owned by Brad Kotzer of the Billy Barker Hotel and Casino, is the first of five currently permitted in the city to open. Lindsay Chung photo

City of Quesnel moves closer to placing cap on number of cannabis retail stores

Nobody spoke at an Oct. 22 public hearing for the proposed limit

The City of Quesnel has moved one step closer to limiting the number of retail cannabis stores allowed to five.

City council held a public hearing regarding the zoning amendment bylaw to place a limit on the number of stores Tuesday, Oct. 22 and then gave the bylaw third reading later that night. The City did not receive any public written submissions about the proposed change, and nobody spoke at the public hearing.

Currently, five retail cannabis stores have been approved in Quesnel, and this zoning amendment bylaw — which could be revisited at any time — will keep that number at five.

“All five cannabis retail stores are now in building permit review or are under construction or just finished, as we have seen with our Cariboo Cannabis on McLean Street,” Tanya Turner, the City’s director of development services, told council. “All stores, as well, have received approval in principle from the Province.”

The five cannabis retail stores in the city include four private stores — Cariboo Cannabis on McLean Street, which is now open; Canna Northwest Enterprises on Rita Road, which has a building permit under review; Flora Cannabis on Chew Road, which has a building permit under review; and HIVE Cannabis Inc. on St. Laurent Avenue, which has a building permit under review. A government store has also been approved in the West Park Mall, and this store’s building permit has been approved, and it is under construction.

Council adopted a policy to permit retail cannabis sales in certain zones (the West Quesnel business district commercial zone, the central business district commercial zone, the highway commercial zone and the regional shopping centre zone) and setting guidelines about how far those stores must be from schools, playgrounds and residential property back in February 2019.

Council began discussing a possible moratorium on the number of stores in late August. Council gave first and second reading to the bylaw that permits no more than five retail cannabis sales businesses in the city Sept. 17. The bylaw will still need to be adopted.

READ MORE: Quesnel’s first cannabis retail store open for business

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