Some of Kelowna’s Approved Jar Stores Will Never Open | New
Some of the city of Kelowna’s approved pot stores are unlikely to open because their owners cannot pass security clearances or cannot show where they are getting their capital, advisers learned Monday.
The city has led the way with zoning changes to open 20 pottery stores, and approval of four more is expected soon. But only 11 operators have also received the necessary provincial approval.
Mark Young, who was seeking council support for a cannabis store he wanted to set up in a mall at the corner of Freeway 97 and Freeway 33, said he doubted anyone waiting for provincial approval receive it.
He suggested that potential operators would not get government approval because they might have security concerns or be unable to show that their venture capital came from legitimate sources.
Young, who owns two cannabis stores elsewhere, made his comments calling on the council to put aside the city’s policy of maintaining a separation of at least 500 meters between pottery stores. His proposed store in Kelowna would have been 424 meters from a pottery store that has already received municipal approval.
Young’s hoped-for pottery store was also said to have been within 500 yards of the nearest school.
The council voted 6-3 to maintain the existing rules and not send Young’s cannabis store proposal to a public hearing.
“I’m comfortable trying to follow our current rules,” said councilor Ryan Donn.
As he has done before, Con. Charlie Hodge said he was against the city’s 500-meter separation policy and was in favor of the city approving as many pottery shops as the market allows.
“We don’t regulate shoe stores or restaurants,” Hodge said.
Com. Luke Stack countered that Hodge’s comparison was unfounded because marijuana is a federally regulated product. “It’s not like candy or hot dogs,” Stack said. “It is a regulated product. This is why we have put care and thought into our policies.
Donn, Stack and advisers Maxine DeHart, Brad Sieben, Gail Given and Mohini Singh voted to block the proposed new cannabis store. Hodge, Mayor Colin Basran and Councilor voted to send the proposal to a public hearing for rezoning consideration. Loyal Wooldridge.
Several advisers have indicated that they will support a full review of the cannabis store approval process.