Muse Cannabis wants to open store at Driftwood Mall

City receives first referral for non-medical cannabis retailer

Courtenay council has approved second reading of a zoning amendment to allow a cannabis retail store at Driftwood Mall. Residents will have a chance to voice their opinions before third reading.

The application from Muse Cannabis — same owners as JAK’s Beer Wine Spirits — was the City’s first referral from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch for a non-medical cannabis retailer. The proposed store will open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. There will be no access from inside the mall.

Five people who attended a neighbourhood information meeting hosted by the applicant support the store. City staff received an email from a Fitzgerald Avenue resident who opposes the application due to the “family-friendly” nature of the mall.

“I live in the immediate area, and I would be concerned about anyone purchasing cannabis at the mall and then lighting up in the vicinity of my home,” the person states.

The federal government legalized cannabis last fall. Provinces establish their own licensing approval process, and municipalities regulate zoning, business licensing and other criteria. So far, the City has received eight provincial referrals and is processing six rezoning applications. The City allows for a maximum five private cannabis retailers in Courtenay, and one government-operated store.

“Because this is new, we’re not accustomed to exposure to this new legal drug,” Coun. David Frisch said at Monday’s meeting.

“I think one of the challenges is when it becomes a human rights issue, because there is medical cannabis,” Mayor Bob Wells said. “It’s more complex, I think, than just saying, ‘This is a simple rule’.”

The proposal meets City requirements in terms of proximity to schools, but the mall’s closest property is less than 300 metres from the Airpark playground. However, staff believe the impact will be minimal due to buffers such as Cliffe Avenue and the mall parking lot. The distance between the store and playground is about 418 metres.

Coun. Doug Hillian asked if there are bylaws or mall regulations about smoking in the immediate vicinity.

“It (smoking) would follow provincial guidelines,” said Ian Buck, director of development services. “There are minimum distances around public entranceways to smoking any type of product.”

Coun. Will Cole-Hamilton would like to know about the mall’s policy concerning smoking cannabis anywhere on the property.

“I’d like to have some more information about that before casting a vote either way,” he said.

A public hearing about the application is at 5 p.m. Feb. 19 in council chambers.

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

Just Posted

Comox Valley Regional District board approves $115,000 towards soccer field house project

The Comox Valley Regional District board has approved a $115,000 contribution to… Continue reading

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Comox Valley Horseshoe Society all about friendly competition

Feeling lucky? Do you have horseshoes? The Comox Valley Horseshoe Society is… Continue reading

Fanny Bay residents fed up with problem house

A delegation from Fanny Bay has appealed to regional district directors to… Continue reading

Merville’s annual Garlic Fest a ‘stinking good time’

Once again, it is time to hold your nose and prance on… Continue reading

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

Most Read