A re-zoning application for a cannabis retail store at 4061 Norwell Dr. was denied by Nanaimo city council on Monday. (CITY OF NANAIMO image)

Editorial: Council inconsistent on pot shop criteria

Flexibility on guidelines an indication that cannabis retail store re-zoning process has gaps

Nanaimo’s policies around cannabis retail have gotten a little hazy.

Cannabis retail stores are coming to the city sooner or later, with 15 re-zoning applications having come before council and many of them now awaiting provincial licensing and final approval.

The City of Nanaimo-led cannabis task force, in the lead-up to federal legalization, made recommendations for cannabis retail stone re-zoning criteria that offered some controls. Pot shops have to be 200 metres from schools, daycares and community centres, for example.

City staff told the News Bulletin earlier this year that with the city’s buffering requirements on how close stores can be to other pot shops, schools and daycare centres means that at some point the city will essentially run out of room.

But last month, city council went against its criteria, approving first and second readings of a cannabis retail store on Terminal Avenue, less than 200 metres from a school and across the street from another proposed pot shop. A councillor suggested the market would decide how each businesses would fare in close proximity to the other. Then, at a meeting this week, another pot shop application on Norwell Drive came forward, also neighbouring another pending cannabis store and also a community centre, but this time council denied it. In both instances, staff recommended against the applications. In each case, the questions asked of the applicant by councillors were different, and so were the evening’s discussion points.

Not every pot shop application that comes to the council table will have equal merits, and it’s part of the job of city council to make decisions about appropriate property uses. We don’t disagree with their judgement on either of these applications. But it does raise questions of fairness when two applications weeks apart, both in urban nodes, can be seen to have been considered through different lenses.

The City of Nanaimo knows more about the cannabis retail landscape now than it did when the criteria were adopted. Those criteria may need a second look as the pot shop business in this city continues to grow.

RELATED: Nanaimo council goes against its guidelines to advance pot shop application

RELATED: City of Nanaimo putting pot shop rules in place



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo Search and Rescue to build a long-term base in Harewood

Group will sign 25-year co-management agreement for Fourth Street rec centre

Nanaimo council decides not to take away free long-term parking for disability permit holders

Councillors agree to rescind motion that had called for changes to 1993 parking bylaw

Nanaimo RCMP officer ‘walks on water’ to rescue lost camper

66-year-old assisted earlier this month by Mounties who can seemingly work miracles

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Big spill may come, small spills happening every day

All kinds of harmful materials are going down the drains, says letter writer

Nanaimo geocaching event aims to restore section of Millstone River

Cache in Trash out event takes place on Sept. 21 near Biggs Road

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates try to chart a path to victory

Conservatives, NDP, Liberals set sights on votes needed to unseat Green incumbent

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Most Read