West Vancouver gives green light to first two cannabis stores

Three years after recreational marijuana became legal in Canada, the District of West Vancouver first inhaled and approved its first two cannabis stores, following a trend that has already seen eight approved cannabis stores across the country. neighboring city and district of North Vancouver. .

The two approved stores include Happy Isle Cannabis in Horseshoe Bay, run by owners who already operate a pot store of the same name on Bowen Island, and Avenue Cannabis at 1453 Bellevue Avenue in Ambleside, which has established itself as a top boutique. range. catering for baby boomers.

West Vancouver council members on Tuesday approved the district’s first marijuana retail businesses under temporary user permits that will allow the stores to operate for an initial three-year period.

The council voted to approve the two marijuana retail stores after a lengthy town hall meeting on Tuesday, during which ten prospective pottery store owners made presentations and members of the public weighed in on the merits of their competing proposals.

Cannabis Avenue at 1453 Bellevue Ave. rose to number one in the sought-after business district of Ambleside, where five other proposals were also to open retail cannabis stores.

The store will be located in a 1,100 square foot ground floor commercial unit of a three story mixed use building and will be managed by three local business owners – Shannon Walker, Scott Walker and Tim Webb – who are also owners of the commercial building. .

Webb told the council he plans to offer a “boutique-like shopping experience” designed for baby boomers and seniors, including a plan for senior-only shopping hours.

Products will be selected taking into account an older demographic, Webb said. “We’re not building a skateboard store here,” he told the council.

Webb added as the owner-managers of the building, they will be on hand to sort out any issues.

The other approved store, Happy Isle Cannabis, will occupy a 620 square foot ground floor at 6609 Royal Avenue in Horseshoe Bay. Glenn Cormier and David Bellringer are partners in this venture and currently operate a cannabis store of the same name on Bowen Island.

“We are not a chain. We’re not a big company, ”Cormier said.

“We’re just looking to replicate in Horseshoe Bay what we did on Bowen Island, which was to introduce an inclusive, professionally run cannabis retail store in a small, tight-knit community, while limiting the impact of residents, ”Cormier said.

The Board denied eight other requests.

The discussion among council members on the proposals on Tuesday evening was relatively brief.

Councilor Marcus Wong said he is looking for proposals that “go out of the park, really showing the community that non-medical cannabis is something that can be part of our community and can be safely managed and sold in a safe manner. . . “

Wong said when the council reviews temporary user permits in three years, “I want to make sure the community feels comfortable.”

Earlier this year, council adopted a policy allowing the opening of up to four cannabis stores, including one in each of the district’s major shopping areas, including Ambleside, Dundarave, Horseshoe Bay and the Park Royal / area. Lions Gate Bridge.

When the time came to choose, however, the two advice. Bill Soprovich and Mayor Mary-Anne Booth have suggested allowing more than one store in certain areas.

Soprovich first offered to approve a second store – Weather Cannabis – in Horseshoe Bay.

“I looked at their profile, the business case, the amount of work they put in to move forward and looked at that in a very serious way. These are local people with local initiatives, ”Soprovich said.

His motion was not seconded, however.

Booth also offered to consider a second store in Ambleside – Nimbus at 1519 Clyde Ave. – saying she was impressed with their inclusion of an Indigenous shareholder, their commitment to reconciliation, social benefits and the diversity of their property.

Com. Nora Gambioli said she was also impressed with the app.

“But I don’t agree that we should have two locations in Ambleside,” she said. “So I will not support this. “

Booth also offered to support a third store in the Park Royal area, saying residents of that area will not have easy access to a cannabis store.

But it also failed to gain support from the rest of the board.

In response to questions posed by the board, staff said that applications denied by the board cannot come back with the same proposal in the same location for a year, but can reapply in a different location.

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