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Province plans to open cannabis store in Salmon Arm

Customers walk out of the first BC Cannabis Store with shopping bags of product in Kamloops, B.C. Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. The province plans to open a similar store in Salmon Arm.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
January 23, 2019 - 7:00 PM

SALMON ARM - The province wants to open a cannabis store in Salmon Arm.

The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch made its pitch to open a cannabis store to Salmon Arm city council at its meeting Monday, Jan. 21. The branch runs the province's retail cannabis business under the brand BC Cannabis Stores.

Salmon Arm mayor Alan Harrison said the proposed store is set for a site west of the downtown core in the Smart Centres development. Currently, no building exists at the 10 Avenue South West site, but the mayor confirmed the land is zoned to accommodate a cannabis store.

Salmon Arm council voted unanimously in favour of the BC Cannabis Store at the meeting. The proposal will go to a public hearing scheduled for Jan. 28 before council take a final vote. The mayor said he didn't expect much opposition against the opening of the cannabis store as the city had done widespread consultations prior to legalization and from these consultations had put in place a cannabis retail store policy.

Unlike private businesses wanting to open and operate a cannabis store, who have to pay a $7,500 application fee to the province for a licence, the Liquor Distribution Branch don't need a licence to open one.

The mayor said this was the seventh non-medical cannabis store application the city had received. Four had been approved in the downtown area and one in the northeast community of Canoe. Harrison said the city's policy limits the downtown area to four cannabis stores. The mayor said the province had told him they were aware four applications had been made to run cannabis stores in the downtown core, which was why they had chosen the site west of the city.

Currently, the BC Cannabis Store located in Kamloops is the only government-run store in the province. The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch said in an emailed statement that applications to open stores had been approved in Campbell River, Williams Lake, Cranbrook, Terrace and Fort St. John. The statement said it was likely that one of these stores would be open before the proposed Salmon Arm store, but couldn't say when any of the locations would open.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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