Quesnel council recommended two potential cannabis retail stores continue on in the province’s licensing process on May 14. Heather norman photo

Two more retail cannabis stores earn Quesnel council’s recommendation

Potential stores must receive council’s recommendation to go through the provincial licensing process

Two more non-medical cannabis retails stores are one step closer to eventually opening in Quesnel.

Flora (Dawson Creek) Enterprises Inc. and Canna Northwest Enterprises Inc. have applied to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch of B.C. (LCRB) for a licence to open their businesses. As part of that process, the LCRB requires the local government to give a recommendation and provide comments on whether or not to issue a license. During the May 14 council meeting, council voted to recommend that both businesses are issued Non-medical Cannabis Retail Store Licences from the province.

If the businesses are granted licences from the LCRB, Flora (Dawson Creek) Enterprises Inc. would open a store at 140-960 Chew Rd. in South Quesnel, while Canna Northwest Enterprises Inc. would open a store at 775 Rita Rd.

Tanya Robinson was at the meeting on behalf of Flora (Dawson Creek) Enterprises Inc. She says the process to get approval from the Province is expected to take about six months following the council’s recommendations, and once approved, it will take approximately another five months to renovate the store.

Robinson said they expect to hire anywhere from eight to 15 people for the store, and she says her company has the financial backing of the large investment group that owns the company, so they would be capable of staying open throughout any difficult early years in business.

“We will be able to keep our doors open and our staff employed through the troubled times,” said Robinson.

She says they intend to open a nice store with a very knowledgeable staff. Her company has put in a total of eight applications across the province, including for retail cannabis stores in Prince George and Kelowna.

The other company, Canna Northwest Enterprises Inc. also had someone in attendance at the meeting.

Esprit Chouinard owns the company.

“It is my vision to create a reputable retail cannabis store where all customers can have safe access to quality cannabis, cannabis accessories, as well as education about cannabis,” Chouinard told council. “Sometimes when it comes to cannabis stores, there are a couple areas that sometimes raise concerns.

“When it comes to social responsibilities, I wish to create a social environment for all customers, as well as the neighbourhood, as well as the community. And I certainly want to keep cannabis out of the hands of underage people.”

He added that he intended to install at least 10 security cameras around the interior and exterior of the building.

Flora (Dawson Creek) Enterprises Inc. and Canna Northwest Enterprises Inc. are the third and fourth retail cannabis stores to request council’s recommendation to continue on in the provincial licensing process.

Both businesses abided by all bylaws, and the City received no negative feedback from the public after notifying local property and business owners at both locations.

Kyle Blanleil, the vice-president of Andre’s Electronics, sent a letter identifying his business’s support for the potential Canna Northwest Enterprises Inc. store.

Already in the midst of the provincial licensing process are 1412 Holdings Limited at 308 McLean St., owned by Brad Kotzer — who also owns the Billy Barker Casino and Hotel.

Kotzer plans to open the store where the Billy Barker Beer and Wine Store used to be if he gets his licence from the Province.

The other store already in the licensing process is the Liquor Distribution Branch of British Columbia for a store to be located at the West Park Mall.

Now, all four potential stores are in the hands of the Province.

READ MORE: City of Quesnel gives two retail cannabis stores seal of approval

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