Number of cannabis shops catching up to liquor stores

Published on May 6, 2022 by The Daily Courier

Photo: Adobe Stock/the oz.
Although 23 Kelowna sites have been rezoned to allow for cannabis sites, only 18 are currently open.

Kelowna now has almost as many properties where cannabis can be sold as it does liquor stores.

Twenty-three sites have been rezoned to allow for pot sales, and a 24th will be soon. There are 27 liquor stores in the city, according to information to be presented Monday to city councillors.

Staff will recommend a pot shop proposed for the Willow Park mall in Rutland not receive municipal approval because it would only be 101 metres away from an existing cannabis store.

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City regulations stipulate pot shops be situated at least 500 metres apart.

“The application to reduce the distance between cannabis stores does not meet the intent to limit clustering of this use and there are a sufficient number of approved establishments across the city to serve overall need,” reads part of a report to council from Kimberly Brunet, a city planner.

People can also buy cannabis online through the government’s distribution system, Brunet notes.

However, city council can and has waived the 500 metre separation requirement if a majority of councillors believe the particular situation warrants it.

Although 23 Kelowna sites have been rezoned to allow for cannabis sites, only 18 stores are currently open as they have also received the necessary approval from the provincial government.

“Several locations and licences have changed ownership over the past two years and licences are taking significant processing time at the (provincial level),” Brunet says in her report.

— Ron Seymour