Published on December 13, 2018 by David Wylie

Locations for Kelowna’s first cannabis stores

We are getting our first look at Kelowna’s cannabis map.

The city is releasing information about the locations and companies behind the current 41 applications for cannabis retail stores in the city.

Nothing is a done deal.

Each zoning entry has this little caveat:

“An application to rezone the subject property has been submitted and it will be evaluated as a potential location for a retail cannabis sales establishment. The application is still subject to evaluation by a committee in 2019 and has not been formally accepted for processing at this time.”

Potential retailers are targeting the downtown core as well as near the Cultural District, close to the Landmark buildings, in the Orchard Plaza area, on Glenmore Road near Brandt’s Creek, Plaza 33 in Rutland, and Reid’s Corner by Sexsmith. There is at least one in the Mission at Gordon and Cook.

Stores are expected to be approved late spring/early summer 2019.

Thirty-one listings were available to view last we checked late Thursday night.

That includes two applications from the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, including a location near Staples off Highway 97 near Dilworth Drive.

It won’t be cheap

Kelowna increased the cost this week for a cannabis retail store licence.

Council approved the hike to address “community impacts arising from the development of a cannabis retail sales process.” That includes costs around the review of each application and licensing approvals, as well as to help offset what the city calls “projected community enforcement impacts of consumption.”

(We wonder if they charge bars a similar tax.)

Now an annual business licence will cost $9,465, with an $8,000 annual renewal fee, in addition to the rezoning application fee of $9,450. In other words, nearly $20,000 upfront and another $8,000 every year thereafter.

Previously it was about $10,000.

Meanwhile, in Lake Country

Grassroots support for a cannabis store in Lake Country is growing.

Residents in the community have been sending letters to Lake Country’s mayor and council urging them to approve a cannabis retail store in Turtle Bay Crossing.

In a surprise move, the municipal council voted 4-3 to quash the potential Starbuds location.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker told the oz. in an interview that he voted against the site, but is open to having his mind changed.

Starbuds was offered a chance to speak at the last meeting before the vote was held, but did not. Baker said it was a misunderstanding.

The mayor has the choice to bring any item back for discussion within 30 days, which Baker has exercised – giving Starbuds a second chance to make a first impression.

What do you think? hello@okanaganz.com

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