Vikram Sachdeva, founder and CEO of Seed and Stone, is disappointed with council’s refusal to refer his company’s application to the LCRB. (Stone and Seed/Submitted)

Vikram Sachdeva, founder and CEO of Seed and Stone, is disappointed with council’s refusal to refer his company’s application to the LCRB. (Stone and Seed/Submitted)

Sidney council refuses to comment on fourth pot store application, effectively denying it

Council also tells LCRB it won’t comment on new applications until pending applications are processed

More applications for recreational cannabis stores in Sidney will not considered until all pending applications have been processed.

Council unanimously authorized staff on Monday to tell the Liquor Control and Regulation Branch (LCRB) that the municipality will not comment on future applications until the LCRB has processed two outstanding applications.

The decision came after council (with Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith and Coun. Peter Wainwright in opposition) voted to withold comment on an application from Stone and Seed to open what would have been a second cannabis retail location on Beacon Avenue, little more than 100 metres away from the approved cannabis retail business formerly known as Happy Buddha (now operating as Truth and Alibi) and the proposed Buds Cannabis location.

This fourth application would have also placed such a business within 90 metres of the Sidney Museum and “just around the corner” from another pending application from Jima Retail Corp. still undergoing its assessment.

The municipality’s liquor and cannabis licensing policy says council will consider the impact of cannabis retailers when they are located within 100 metres (328 feet) of other “cannabis retailers, liquor stores, child care facilities, daycares, educational facilities, libraries, public recreation centres, public community centres, parks, places of worship and other family-oriented facilities.”

RELATED: Sidney signals support for additional cannabis stores on Beacon Avenue

RELATED:Sidney council signals support for recreational cannabis store

RELATED:Sidney entrepreneurs drop Buddha from name of proposed cannabis shop

With this policy, the municipality reflects language from Island Health, which recommends a minimum separation of 300 metres between retail outlets. Sidney’s radius of 100 metres represents its own “minimum” threshold.

A central question during the discussion was whether the LCRB had informed the applicants that it would have been the fourth application.

Coun. Sara Duncan noted that even if somehow they had started this application without having been aware of the other applications through public records, “surely, if they were doing their market research on what type of town this was and what the market might be, they would have come across many news articles about cannabis in this town,” she said.

Even if council had deferred this application until the LCRB had processed the other pending applications and even if the other applications had not gone through, “the second store cannot in good faith go on Beacon Avenue,” said Duncan.

McNeil-Smith urged patience, arguing that council’s refusal would deny the application without the LCRB having completed its assessment of the other applications.

Vikram Sachdeva, founder and CEO of Seed and Stone, expressed disappointment but also acceptance of council’s decision.

“I wanted them to give us an opportunity to showcase that, ‘yes, we can get a fit and proper assessment,’” he said, pointing to the company’s track record in running stores elsewhere in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley as well as his previous entrepreneurial credentials as operator of several fast-food franchises.

“We’ll see if there are other options for us in that community,” he said. “If not, we are looking forward to opening more stores in Victoria,” he said.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

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

Just Posted

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Most Read