Three proposed retail cannabis locations have been given the green light by Mission council.
On Monday night, council moved to support three of five applications and will now forward their decision to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.
The three applications, two on Lougheed Highway and one on First Avenue, still have to be approved for a license.
High Point Cannabis Ltd. (#212 32530 Lougheed Highway) and Mission Cannabis (#111 – 32423 Lougheed Highway) both received council approval and were complemented for creating detailed, professional applications.
The downtown location was the more difficult choice as three strong applications were presented, but because of zoning bylaws – shops have to be a minimum of 250 metres away from public and private schools, as well as 150 metres away from other cannabis retail stores – only one could be chosen.
The three proposed downtown shops – Cheeky’s (32988 First Ave.) Leaf Land Cannabis Inc. (33057 First Ave.) and Seed and Stone (#101-33025 First Ave.) – fall within the 150 metre zoning buffer with each other.
After a quick discussion, the councillors agreed to choose Cheeky’s.
“This is tough… I’m looking at the community benefits for these next three applications,” said Coun. Carol Hamilton.
She said if council approved the Cheeky’s application, located at the old Bellevue Hotel site, it could be the impetus to get repairs done on the building.
Other councillors agreed.
“I like the idea of the Bellevue being redone,” said Coun. Cal Crawford.
Mission Mayor Pam Alexis also supported Cheeky’s but said the building had to be refurbished.
“It will kick start activity in the neighbouring lots that have been stagnant way too long,” said Alexis, adding people have reached out to her saying the area is desperate for improvement.
The only councillor to vote against all of the applications was Ken Herar.
“I know cannabis is legal and I am not against cannabis use by informed and responsible adults. I do have a concern where the cannabis stores will be located and the possible negative consequences to the community the stores in those locations might bring,” Herar said as he read from a prepared statement.
He suggested council hold off approving any stores other than the one government store that was previously approved.
“We can revisit the issue in six months with knowledge gained from our first cannabis store,” he said.
The rest of council did not support the idea.
Now that council has approved three more cannabis retail store applications, new applications will be brought to council as they are received, on a one-off basis.