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


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Celeb adds star power to Green Party town hall in Nanaimo

Pamela Anderson attended with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Man involved in beating and tasering over a drug debt to be sentenced in Nanaimo

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne pleaded guilty to charges, including aggravated assault

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP to host series of community meetings

First meeting is scheduled for July 18 at the North Oyster Community Centre

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Appeal court decision on plastic bags misguided

Province should support municipalities’ efforts to take environmental action, says letter writer

Three vehicles collide behind Nanaimo’s Country Club Centre

No one hurt in accident Wednesday morning

Three vehicles collide behind Nanaimo’s Country Club Centre

No one hurt in accident Wednesday morning

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Nanaimo mom says she will go to court to try to get allegedly abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown says her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Injured humpback returns to waters near Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular near Comox again and noticed the whale has been healing

Most Read