THOMAS KERVIN PHOTO Derek Koel, Port McNeill councillor, brought cannabis samples in an effort to destigmatize cannabis-use.

Kamloops mayor: Fast-food chains more harmful to children than cannabis stores

Kamloops council approves 15th cannabis store application

  • Mar. 6, 2019 9:32 a.m.

-Kamloops this Week

Kamloops council has approved an application to open a cannabis store in a Valleyview strip mall, despite the objection of a nearby business owner.

Kamloops Dance Academy owner Sandi Lewis and multiple dance studio parents opposed the application on the grounds the business serves children, as do schools, near which cannabis shops are prohibited.

Lewis described to city council uncertainty about the impacts of private stores in the community, despite having visited the government store in Sahali.

“I’m looking out for the children,” she said. “I’m looking out for myself.”

The applicant, Michael Koehn, co-founded the Welcome Back Clinic downtown and owns the CannSolve Clinic, a medical cannabis centre in Sahali. He told KTW he plans to move that centre to Valleyview alongside the cannabis store at 2121 East Trans-Canada Hwy.

READ MORE: Province green lights Green Canoe Cannabis

He sympathized with concerns of the dance studio owner and pledged to be a good neighbour

In a letter to council, Lewis noted city regulations restrict cannabis stores from being within 150 metres if a school. Lewis said her studio serves more than 300 students, primarily young children.

“I don’t feel that my facility is any different from an elementary school,” Lewis wrote, noting she would neither want a liquor store beside the studio.

Despite her opposition, council voted unanimously to approve the application, with Coun. Denis Walsh recusing himself due to a conflict of interest as he is pursuing opening a cannabis store downtown.

Coun. Kathy Sinclair called Koehn a “person of integrity” in the community, while Coun. Mike O’Reilly said the city should not set up rules and then change its mind.

“It’s not our job to be moving the goal posts,” he said.

Mayor Ken Christian said he supported the application because the applicant clearly intended to be a good neighbour and the city has recourse through its good neighbour agreement to hold them to account.

Christian said it would be more harmful to have a fast-food restaurant next door to the dance studio than a cannabis store and that it would provide parents an opportunity to discuss cannabis, which is now legal.

He added that fewer empty storefonts would help combat the issue of vagrancy in the community.

“I am going to support this application and I wish them every success,” Christian said.

City of Kamloops property use inspector Dave Jones said the city cited P-3 properties specifically in its zoning bylaw in order to prevent confusion over what constitutes a “school.” The proposed location is in a Valleyview strip mall, zoned C-5 shopping centre commercial.

READ MORE: 15 cannabis retail store applications selected for Kelowna

Jones said stigma continues around negative impacts of cannabis stores, but noted regulations are in place to prevent issues. He said provincial rules limiting advertising. Additionally, the city ties business licences to a good neighbour agreement. =

This was the 16th application to come before city council, with 14 previously approved at the municipal level. Council denied its first cannabis store application last month at 6-685 Tranquille Rd. on the North Shore, following opposition from the Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Metis organization, which raised concerns about impacts on clientele (youth and residential school survivors), crime in the area and parking.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Affordable rental housing complex opens in Courtenay

The Braidwood facility will house 34 people at risk of homelessness

Applications open for record bursary, scholarship funding at North Island College

Current and future North Island College students can now apply for scholarships… Continue reading

Second Stage Players present laughter and love in We Are Family

Get your tickets early to see the Evergreen Club’s Second Stage Players’… Continue reading

Open house opens access for those suffering from vision loss

Pat Chicquen understands how isolating losing vision can be, which is why… Continue reading

Valley SPCA overwhelmed with 45 cats taken from local property

Many of the cats have never been around humans, or have never been touched or handled.

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

Too Good To Pass Up

Erin Haluschak Record staff… Continue reading

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Most Read