Two more retail cannabis stores approved by Kamloops city council

Image Credit: PEXELS

KAMLOOPS - Although Kamloops city council voted in favour of two new retail cannabis locations today, one location stirred up some discussion.

Two more locations at 240 Lansdowne St. and 279 Tranquille Rd. were approved by city council at its meeting today, Jan. 29. The Lansdowne location was approved unanimously, but the Tranquille Road location raised the questions about putting too many stores in one place.

The Tranquille Road location received several letters of opposition and two members of the public in council chambers expressed opposition to the project. They were concerned about parking and cannabis store congestion on Tranquille.

Coun. Arjun Singh was hesitant to approve the store and questioned the wisdom of having too many cannabis stores near one location, even though the location fits the requirement of being over 150 meters from the nearest similar outlet.

Coun. Deiter Dudy rebutted the point saying that the success of clusters of similar stores, such as book stores or clothing stores, are a response to consumer demand. 

"If all six shine that means there’s a demand for it," Dudy said.

Singh and Coun. Bill Sarai both voted against the proposed Tranquille Road location. Coun. Denis Walsh excused himself due to a potential conflict of interest as he is interested in opening his own store. Coun. Kathy Sinclair also had to excuse herself from the vote as she owns the building in which the cannabis store would be located.

So far nine applications have been approved by city council but only the government-owned B.C. Cannabis Store has opened. Once the city approves a location, the applicant goes back to the province for the final approval.

Chris Lyth, whose proposal was approved in October by city council, just recently got the go-ahead from the province after an intense background check. He still has a few more steps to go through before the grand opening, including a facility inspection and staff training.

"There is a lot involved because I was not an existing dispensary I’m starting from scratch on everything," Lyth said. "Right now it just seems like money is flying out the door."

He expects his store at 399 Tranquille Rd. will open in four to six weeks.

Lyth's advice for those going through the process is to be honest, as the 56-year-old reports the province's record check went back to when he was 18 years old.

"Make sure you got all your records and documents in order," he says. "Prepare to be an open book and share everything with them."

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