North Cowichan will be having a public hearing on the cannabis shop application for Chemainus.

Proposed cannabis shop in Chemainus going to public hearing

Violet Wild Cannabis looks to open at 9750 Chemainus Rd.

Another effort is being made to open the first legal marijuana retail store in Chemainus at 9750 Chemainus Rd.

At the Municipality of North Cowichan’s council meeting on Jan. 29, council gave the first two readings to an application by Violet Wild Cannabis to open a cannabis shop at the location, despite a recommendation by staff to reject it, and the application will now go to a public hearing.

Last May, council rejected an application from the Leaf Compassion dispensary to reopen its store at the site.

Like many pot shops in the area before legalization in 2018, Leaf Compassion first opened the store about four years ago at the location, and was raided by police and bylaw officers twice over that time for operating without a business licence, and charges were laid for marijuana possession and trafficking after the first raid in 2017.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN REJECTS CHEMAINUS POT STORE APPLICATION

But the main reason for council’s rejection of the application last May was that the location didn’t fit into the criteria council established for pot shops in its jurisdiction that were established last January.

The location is en route to areas frequented by youth and is in proximity to public and family-oriented properties, which council wanted to avoid.

Jill and Terra Maiback, who spoke for Violet Wild Cannabis at Wednesday’s council meeting, addressed some of the concerns.

Jill said Violet Wild Cannabis would have a clientele that would be diverse in age and backgrounds, and their target customers would not be kids who would use cannabis on trails and parks in the area.

“Our proposal fits well into the municipality’s guidelines to attract new business, and we’d be compliant with the policy that marijuana stores be close to main roads.”

Terra said she would live above the site at 9750 Chemainus Rd., and would be the “eyes on the ground” that a staff report said are not in place at the site.

“We also intend to hold workshops and educational classes at the location, and we’re looking at having a mural painted on the side of the building so we can better integrate into the Chemainus community.”

Coun. Rosalie Sawrie asked why Violet Wild Cannabis chose the site as the proposed location for its business.

Jill said they felt they had a better chance of the application being passed by council after the municipality changed some of its criteria in July to consider each application on an individual basis.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN CONSIDERS CHANGES TO POT SHOP CRITERIA

Sawrie said she opposed the application by Leaf Compassion last May largely because the RCMP recommended it be rejected, but no such recommendation from the police was made it regards to the application by Violet Wild Cannabis.

“I feel that a retail marijuana location is needed in Chemainus, and I move to have the application go to a public hearing,” she said.

Coun. Rob Douglas said council has recognized that its policies on marijuana retail stores were “overkill” before they were amended.

“I’m not committing to supporting this application, but I would like to hear from the neighbours on how they feel about it at a public hearing,” he said.

Coun. Christopher Justice asked development manager Rob Conway if staff had done any analysis of what locations in Chemainus would better fit North Cowichan’s criteria.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN APPROVES RETAIL CANNABIS SHOP AT MT. SICKER

Conway said no detailed analysis has been done, but locations in the community’s north and south ends would fit the criteria better.

“It boils down to whether council feels its general policies are being followed,” he said.

Mayor Al Siebring said there is a demand in Chemainus for marijuana outlets, and he is aware of at least one more application for a store that is expected to be submitted to North Cowichan soon.

“But that’s not to say a store [we approve] shouldn’t be this one,” he said.

The time and date of the public hearing has yet to be announced.

marijuana dispensaries

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

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Blitterswyk awarded another significant scholarship

The honours just keep coming for Chemainus Secondary School 2020 grad class valedictorian

Killer whales cause a scene

WHALE OF A TALE Art Carlyle captured these images of killer whales… Continue reading

Ladysmith shows strong support for COVID version of Tour de Rock

Senior donates $8,000 from proceeds of year-long bottle collections

Green Party pins Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding hopes on Istace

Leader Furstenau in town for the announcement of Chemainus businessman’s candidacy

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read