Regional cannabis headquarters is on the table when West Kelowna considers proposal | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Regional cannabis headquarters is on the table when West Kelowna considers proposal

This is a rendering of a proposed government-run cannabis store in West Kelowna.
Image Credit: Submitted/City of West Kelowna
October 17, 2019 - 6:00 AM

A proposed B.C. government regional headquarters for cannabis will be on the line during a public hearing next month in West Kelowna.

B.C.’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch has applied to rezone part of the Westbank Towne Centre mall not only for a cannabis store but a regional headquarters for the Okanagan from Osoyoos to Vernon.

If approved, the store will employ about 20 unionized staff with wages starting at $21 an hour, along with managers. It will also have one regional manager, administrative staff, as required and training staff, as required, since it will serve as a regional training centre.

The proposal is to replace the Urban Dollar Store, rezone that part of the mall to allow for the 7,116 square foot store. Town Centre is home to Save-On Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart and the B.C. government liquor store.

It is also about 160 metres from George Pringle Elementary School. That has the school board standing in opposition. It wants all cannabis stores to be at least 500 metres from schools.

The West Kelowna policy is for such stores to be 100 metres from elementary and middle schools and 250 metres from high schools.

If approved, it will be the first regional office in the Okanagan/Interior region, according to an email from the Ministry of Attorney General.

The store will not include any warehouse or distribution services, as that is handled out of Richmond. The ministry is looking at other Interior locations for regional offices but did not specify where those might be.

There are currently two government cannabis stores in Kamloops with one more listed as “coming soon,” as is a store in Penticton.

The public hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 12 at 1:30 p.m.

Cannabis was legalized in Canada one year ago this week. The next phase in legalization opens the door to edibles and distillates, though just like when cannabis first became legal, there are delays on products. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 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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