Downtown Kamloops cannabis store one step closer to opening

Kamloops city council gave their support for a cannabis retail licence Tuesday for a company called Eden Empire, which could soon open on Victoria Street.

The new cannabis store would be located at 161 6 Avenue, under a new multi-unit housing development which is still under construction.

Eden Empire's store would be the seventh non-medical cannabis store in downtown Kamloops.

One of two letters from the public expressed concern that adding another cannabis store downtown would bring crime to the area.

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Kathy Underwood, owner of Kamloops Florist, expressed her concern that drug activity downtown would be exacerbated by opening another cannabis store.

"If the City continues to encourage drug use in this area of town I will seriously consider relocating or closing my business," she wrote to council.

But cannabis use does not correspond with other drug use, according to Eden Empire operations manager, Brayden Taekema, who spoke at the Oct. 19 council meeting.

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Taekema also said the store would follow all provincial regulations related to security, including surveillance, along with hosting periodic community clean ups.

Eden Empire already had support from city council to seek their cannabis sales licence in 2019, but the building site had been demolished and rebuilt, so they sought approval again.

Now that the City of Kamloops has given their support to Eden Empire, the responsibility to approve the licence rests with the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch of B.C.

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