Cannabis store proposed for west side of Courtenay

Courtenay Council has approved second reading of a zoning amendment for a proposed non-medical cannabis retailer in the strip mall at 2270 Cliffe Ave. The store is to be named The Patchi, formerly Nature’s Blend. A public hearing about the proposal will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, July 15 in council chambers.

The City is processing applications for cannabis stores on a first-come, first-serve basis. Up to five private retailers are allowed in Courtenay, along with one government-operated store. During a previous public hearing, Patchi owner/manager Patricia Cury spoke out against the first-come, first-serve practice because she felt some applicants were not following the rules. At that point, she was seventh in line among applicants. Since then, however, council denied an application from Leaf Compassion. Bowser Cannabis, which had been approved to operate at Cliffe and 6th, withdrew its application. Council has approved applications for retailers at Driftwood Mall and 5th Street, and a government store at Washington Park Shopping Mall. A public hearing about a third private application, Fire in the Sky at 1025 Cliffe, is being held July 2.

At a public information meeting in February, Cury told guests there will be zero tolerance for product use on the premises and surrounding property. She intends to post No Smoking signs, and to hire after-hours security. Some of the attendees support the business. A Mansfield Drive resident, however, doesn’t see the need for a second cannabis store in the area, considering Muse Cannabis will soon open at Driftwood Mall. The resident is also concerned about increased traffic “in what is already a very busy intersection,” noting the proximity to the Whistlestop Pub.

“Why are five pot shops needed here?” another person said in an email to the City. “Many of our customers arrive here with children ranging from infants to 17, and we are expecting that many will not return after seeing that cannabis will be sold next door.”

Another nearby business has a different take on The Patchi proposal.

“As a property owner in close proximity to this location, I have confidence that this business will be a tasteful complement to the current strip mall.”

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