Leaf Compassion has been denied an application to operate a storefront cannabis outlet on Fourth Street in Courtenay. Scott Stanfield photo

Courtenay council denies cannabis retailer application

Adjacent businesses strongly opposed storefront proposal

Courtenay council has turned down Leaf Compassion’s application to operate a storefront cannabis outlet at 379 Fourth St.

Had council approved the application, City staff said the downtown core was in danger of losing neighboring businesses which strongly opposed the application.

Runge’s Deli owner Monika Ferguson said large groups congregated, and at times blocked the sidewalk when Leaf had briefly opened last year.

“Our customers felt intimidated,” Ferguson wrote in a letter to the City. She notes the smell of cannabis from people smoking behind Leaf would waft into her premises during warm weather.

“Why should our customers and staff have to endure this sickening smell? I am concerned that I will lose customers.”

The City also received letters of opposition from Assante Wealth Management and a health practitioner at The Hub on Fourth Street. Staff at Assante say garbage has accumulated in their back garden and seating area since the start of Leaf’s tenancy. Female staffers also have security concerns.

While Leaf’s public information meeting garnered positive feedback, the City notes that comments mostly came from people outside the immediate area of the business.

“It seems to me that businesses survive based on their reputation,” Coun. Doug Hillian said at Tuesday’s meeting. “We did hear a lot of concerns in this neighbourhood previously regarding this particular operation. That appears to be coming into roost now. It’s unfortunate, but that seems to be the seeds that have been sown here.”

Leaf Compassion began to operate a cannabis resource and information centre in 2018. The business had been denied a licence to establish a non-medical cannabis dispensary in 2017, before the legalization of non-medical cannabis. Leaf appealed to council to reconsider, but council upheld staff’s decision.

Up to five private cannabis retailers are allowed in Courtenay, along with one government-operated store. Council has approved previous applications for retailers at Driftwood Mall, 5th Street and Courtenay Mall (Cliffe and 6th), and a proposed government store at Washington Park Shopping Mall. These have come with little or no opposition. Leaf’s location falls within 400 metres of the Urban Smoke Shop at 143-5th St. and Bowser Cannabis, to be located at 625 Cliffe Ave. A City policy suggests a cannabis retailer be at least 400 metres from another outlet.



reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island support group expands boundaries

Despite restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, the North Island Mood Disorders Society… Continue reading

Comox Valley Regional District receives $100,000 to develop poverty action plan

Courtenay-Comox NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says a $100,000 grant in provincial funding… Continue reading

Spring In The Garden: Natural disarray adds to the charm of the English cottage garden

Ellen Presley Special to The Record The cottage garden has had an… Continue reading

VIDEO: Community generosity helps Courtenay Elementary school replace stolen bikes

Community compassion, coupled with school connections, helped Courtenay Elementary restock its inventory… Continue reading

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Fraser Valley dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Gold River ready to welcome visitors and restart local businesses

In contrast to single-industry remote communities, Gold River’s diversified economy might help it better survive after reopening

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Most Read