Kelowna’s first green wave

Published on November 30, 2018 by David Wylie

More than 40 companies have thrown their name into the hat to open Kelowna’s first retail cannabis store.

The City of Kelowna announced today the number of cannabis rezoning applications it has received is 41.

Now a group of city staff and RCMP will rate the applications. The process will be overseen by an independent consultant.

“Applicants will be notified in early 2019 if their application has been selected to move forward through the standard City rezoning process,” said Community Planning Department Manager Ryan Smith.

“We will continue to accept applications, however, only applications received prior to the Nov. 30 deadline will be considered in this first intake.”

The city seems to be far behind other Okanagan municipalities, particularly Lake Country – which may have a store open for Christmas time.

Rezoning is the first step in Kelowna’s process to open a retail cannabis store in the city.

The rezoning process typically takes between 4-6 months.

We’ve been taking guesses at the location…

Smith said the majority of them came in “as expected,” the week prior to the deadline.

“Most applicants are keen to ensure they are meeting the requirements and present a fully-formed application for consideration,” he said in a news release.

The first ‘intake,’ as the city calls it, was open from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.

Over the next few months, the applications will be evaluated by a panel of city staff and RCMP against a council approved scoring matrix that will decide which best comply with appropriate zoning and bylaws, security plans and neighbourhood fit.

A positive recommendation and input from the City of Kelowna is required to obtain a license to operate a non-medical cannabis retail store from the provincial government.

More on the City of Kelowna website.