Armed with information, the president of company that planned to open a cannabis retail store in Sidney says he won’t take legal action against Sidney.
Jeff Prete of Jima Retail Corp. was considering action after council didn’t support his application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) for a cannabis retail shop proposed for the 9700-block of Third Street.
Only the LCRB can approve or deny application, but municipalities can shape the process by signalling support or opposition.
Prete felt it showed an inconsistent application of the municipality’s published guidelines, but in a bid to maintain a positive relationship with Sidney council, staff and residents, he sought more information from the town.
“We have decided not to take legal action as the majority of our investment is location specific and this location doesn’t work for the town in context of the other approved stores,” Prete told the Peninsula News Review. “The clustering / close proximity of the locations was the single largest problem. Ultimately the second applicant moved quicker than we did and subsequently won the area. A lesson I will have to learn from going forward.”
He said legal action can often be a prelude to a long and difficult relationship. Prete said the time and investment that goes into taking legal action would be better suited to opening a new store.
The company plans to focus on its Jima branded locations in Abbotsford, Kitsilano, and two Victoria shops.
“We are going to stay focused on our next goal which is eight stores in B.C. Then we will focus on going east and south. Once the Town of Sidney planning department approves new guidelines we will review them to see if we try again. I am hopeful they won’t say no to Jima Cannabis twice,” said Prete.
– With files from Wolfgang Depner
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