A retail cannabis store could be opening its doors at the Uptown Shopping Centre.
On Monday, May 25, Saanich council approved an application for BC Cannabis Store at the popular shopping centre. The application will go to public hearing so residents can weigh in on the decision.
The province’s Liquor Distribution Branch is applying to open the store, which would be the first government-operated non-medicinal retail cannabis store in the region.
At the council meeting, Coun. Colin Plant said having a store run by the province gives him “great faith.” He also said he is supportive of the application going to public hearing and that Uptown would be a good location given its distance from schools.
“I believe it is something Saanich needs to give consideration to now that [cannabis] is a legal substance,” Plant said.
Under the Cannabis Distribution Act, private cannabis retail stores need a licence from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch but government-owned BC Cannabis Stores do not. The Liquor Distribution Branch is still required to work with local governments to meet municipal policies.
According to a staff report, the proposed location of the store would be near the Whole Foods on the second level of the Uptown Shopping Centre. The report said notice of the application was sent to Saanich police, Saanich fire, SD61 and community associations. Both Saanich police and fire had no objections to the application and SD61 did not respond.
Council support for the cannabis store application to go to public hearing was unanimous.