A non-medical cannabis retail store has been proposed for 13219 Victoria Rd. N., Summerland. The proposal has received support from Summerland council. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

A non-medical cannabis retail store has been proposed for 13219 Victoria Rd. N., Summerland. The proposal has received support from Summerland council. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland council approves downtown cannabis store

School board voices opposition to store location

Summerland’s municipal council has given its support to an application for a proposed non-medical cannabis retail store in downtown Summerland.

The application, from Erbn Green Cannabis Comany Inc., is for a location at 13219 Victoria Rd. N. The municipality received a referral from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch on Sept. 4, 2020.

The Okanagan Skaha School Board did not recommend approving the proposal.

“The board continues to oppose retail cannabis outlets that are in close proximity to schools noting that this is the third referral for a small community. The board is concerned for the health and safety of the district’s students and the board is working hard to minimize vaping incidents,” a statement from the school board reads.

Summerland Middle School and Summerland Secondary School are both near the downtown core, but outside the 50-metre distance required in the municipality’s policy. The policy, adopted in November, 2018, sets a distance of 50 metres from community and youth centres, libraries, schools, parks and playgrounds.

The location, in Summerland’s CB1 zone, allows retail cannabis stores as an approved use. The applicant requested operating hours of 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

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The application meets the municipality’s policy guidelines for non-medical cannabis retail stores and no concerns were raised by municipal staff regarding this application.

There are no limits to the number of cannabis retail stores permitted in Summerland, nor are there buffers between cannabis retail stores.

At the council meeting on March 22, Coun. Doug Holmes asked that the decision be deferred to a time when the proponent could be present at the meeting.

However, Mayor Toni Boot said the applicant already operates three cannabis retail stores in Ontario and has one coming soon to Alberta.

“It’s not like it’s a completely new startup,” she said.

The decision to support the application was approved, with Holmes and Coun. Doug Patan opposed.

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