WATCH: We’re learning more tonight about the government’s rollout of BC Cannabis Stores across Vancouver Island. The province is looking at a number of locations but Campbell River, Nanaimo and Courtenay could be among the first. Kendall Hanson reports.
The manager of Nanaimo’s Country Club Mall already knows where he hopes to house a provincial cannabis store.
Now he’s waiting on the City of Nanaimo to approve the rezoning so the plan can move ahead.
“It’s an opportunity for us for sure,” said Dave Mills of Northwest Properties.
“You know Nanaimo’s going to have its share of dispensaries in town so it’s nice to have one of the BC Cannabis shops opening here for its recognized brand and the trusted aspect of that, so we’re excited about that for sure.”
B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch has applied to build two provincial cannabis stores in Nanaimo.
The second is slated for Woodgrove Crossing on Mary Ellen Drive.
There are currently no BC Cannabis stores on Vancouver Island but Nanaimo’s mayor doesn’t see an urgent need to get them open.
“I think it’s pretty well known that people are already consuming cannabis products of various kinds across our city and have been for a long time. Will it make any difference to use? I suspect not,” said Leonard Krog, Nanaimo’s Mayor.
A staff report about the two proposed Nanaimo locations is expected to go before Nanaimo City Council in February.
The Liquor Distribution Branch is also looking at opening a store in Courtenay where the city is gathering public input.
The very first one to open on Vancouver Island will likely be in Campbell River at the Discovery Shopping Centre. The chosen location is already properly zoned.
“We’re currently doing demolition on the space they’re moving into and I’d suspect in the coming months BC Cannabis will be building out that store,” said Mills. “I don’t know the date that they’ll be selling and open for business but it’s not too far down the road.”
The province also has an application for a store in Powell River and the city is collecting public feedback.
The first, and so far only, legal provincially-run cannabis store opened in Kamloops in October.
BC Cannabis does sell it’s products online.