Kamloops will be home to province's first government-run recreational pot store

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KAMLOOPS - B.C.'s first government-owned cannabis retail store will be setting up shop in Kamloops.

The City of Kamloops says in a news release that the B.C. Cannabis Store will be located in the Columbia Place Shopping Centre in Sahali. After the province considered several locations, Kamloops was selected as the first because of the city's readiness for zoning, David Trawin, chief administrative officer with the City says in the release.

The province's liquor distribution branch is currently considering a number of locations across several municipalities for other B.C. Cannabis Store locations, and is focusing on an efficient roll-out.

"We have been working collaboratively with the BC Provincial Government throughout the changing legislation," said Trawin. "The City of Kamloops will proceed to work in this manner as the public-private retail cannabis model rolls out in Kamloops."

Roughly 20 employees will be staffed at the Kamloops location including a store manager, assistant manager, and knowledgeable cannabis consultants. Postings for the jobs are expected to be out within the next week here.

As for privately-owned stores, the Provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch will be responsible for licensing and monitoring those outlets, and will only issue sales licences to retailers that have received a council resolution supporting the operator's site-specific provincial licence application.

The City will not be accepting applications until federal and provincial regulations are fully implemented.

For more information on the licensing application process, go here.

A separate news release from the provincial government stated that the Liquor Distribution Branch had signed memorandums of understanding with 31 license produces to form an extensive and competitive wholesale product assortment. The initial assortment will feature more than 150 strains ranging in quality from value to ultra-premium product.

"We welcome this announcement that the (distribution branch) is applying to open the first government-operated BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops," Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian says in the release. "Kamloops City Council supports the work of the provincial government as they map out the future retail cannabis landscape in B.C. Their mixed model for cannabis sales, allowing both public and private retail, has many benefits to B.C. communities. The proposal, like all applications, will require the city's approval before it will operate."

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