Proximity alert: Kelowna cannabis shop denied

Published on May 9, 2022 by The Daily Courier

Photo: Contributed
Argent Diversified Holdings is behind Flora Cannabis.

Central Rutland won’t be getting a third cannabis store anytime soon.

City councillors voted Monday not to allow a cannabis shop at the Willow Park mall, at the corner of Highway 33 and Hollywood Road.

The shop would have been just over 100 metres away from an existing cannabis store. City regulations normally require a spacing of at least 500 metres, but council has made an exception for the downtown core.

  • RELATED: Number of cannabis shops catching up to liquor stores

The applicant appealed for similar consideration, saying central Rutland has more residential homes than downtown Kelowna and could support a third cannabis store.

“I submit the Rutland urban area is downtown 2.0,” said a representative of Argent Diversified Holdings.

But a majority of councillors said they wanted to maintain the general policy of 500 metre spacing, at least until a major review of cannabis store-related regulations, expected to happen in the next year or two.

“I don’t feel we should be making one-off decisions,” said Coun. Luke Stack.

The review will likely examine cannabis store policy from a number of perspectives, said Coun. Mohini Singh.

“Do we need more? Do we need less? Does 500 metre separation work? Do fast-growing areas need more cannabis stores?” Singh said.

As he has before, Coun. Charlie Hodge spoke against the 500 metre separation rule, saying the market should determine how many cannabis stores there are, and where they are located.

Mayor Colin Basran was the only other member of council who favoured sending the cannabis store proposal to public hearing. “I liked the location,” Basran said.

— Ron Seymour