Courtenay council denies second cannabis retail application

Courtenay Council has turned down a second application for a non-medical cannabis retail outlet in the city.

Jin Jeon, who owns Smoke on the Water Smoke Shop at 1025 Cliffe Ave., had hoped to branch out by opening a cannabis store next door. It was to be called Fire in the Sky Cannabis.

At a recent public hearing about the proposal, neighboring business owner Mathias Dimter expressed concern about increased marijuana smell and other issues related to smoke shop customers. At Monday’s meeting, council unanimously opposed third reading of a zoning amendment bylaw to allow Jeon’s store.

Earlier in the year, council had turned down an application from Leaf Compassion to operate a storefront cannabis outlet at 379 Fourth St. City staff had said the downtown core was in danger of losing neighboring businesses which strongly opposed the application.

Up to five private cannabis retailers are allowed in Courtenay, along with one government-operated store.

To date, council has approved applications from Muse Cannabis to open at Driftwood Mall, and from the Urban Smoke Shop to convert its store at 143 Fifth St. into a non-medical cannabis retailer. A government store at Washington Park Shopping Mall has also been approved.

Another retailer is proposing a store at 2270 Cliffe Ave. The proponent, Ryan Hewer of Errington, was the only person who spoke Monday at a public hearing about the application.

The next public hearing is slated for 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19 in council chambers. It concerns an application from Beaufort Botanicals for a store at the corner of England and Sixth in the downtown core.

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