The City of Penticton is forging ahead with approving more cannabis retail store licenses, more than 10 months after federal legalization.
In a report to city council, planning manager Blake Laven recommends that city hall support three more non-medical cannabis retail store licenses, which would bring the total to 11.
The three locations are at 101-351 Westminster Ave. W. (Completely Cannabis Co.), 310 Comox St. (Green House Cannabis Boutique) and 2150 Main St. (Starbuds).
Laven said the locations meet bylaw requirements and no negative impacts are anticipated.
WATCH (December 2018): Downtown Penticton businesses disagree with City plan to ban cannabis shops on Main Street
Gary Harris and Michael Koehn of Kamloops will operate Completely Cannabis after switching career paths to enter the burgeoning cannabis industry. A letter to council said they have business backgrounds in healthcare and solid waste management.
“We look forward to earning the trust of the city, and maintain that partnership by growing, adjusting and adapting together as the cannabis market matures and changes over time,” the letter said.
Green House is owned by company shareholders who are not named, although a letter to council said they are long-term Penticton residents and senior citizens who will cater to elderly clientele.
“We will be operating a small cannabis boutique that offers a quaint inviting environment to the wide diversity of the citizens of Penticton,” the letter said.
Matthew Rivard is the managing partner of Starbuds and already operates a cannabis store in Dawson Creek.
“My intent is to be a premier service provider for the community of Penticton,” he said in a letter to the city.
WATCH: (December 2018) Penticton council backs away from limiting cannabis retail downtown
Retail cannabis stores cannot be located within 300 metres of a public or private school in Penticton, according to municipal regulations.
Council policy also establishes an overall cap of 14 stores in the community, with a maximum of seven stores in the downtown.
Council has already given support for four locations in the downtown and four elsewhere in the community for a total of eight approvals.
Two locations have been given the green light from the province and are currently in operation.
They are Spirit Leaf at 2695 Skaha Lake Rd. and Cannabis Cottage at 385 Martin St.
Province-wide, 62 cannabis stores have been issued provincial licenses, including eleven in the Shuswap-Okanagan region.
City council will review the staff report at Tuesday’s council meeting.