CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – Council members have struck down an application to open a non-medical cannabis retail store near downtown Campbell River.

Part of Monday night’s agenda was a decision whether or not to support a non-medical cannabis retail licence application at 1423 16th Avenue.

The proposed location for the ‘Pacificanna’ store was the second floor of an existing commercial building, surrounded by commercial uses.

While the property is zoned Commercial One (C-1), which permits the use of a cannabis retail store, and complies with the city’s zoning regulations including: minimum distance from schools and existing cannabis stores (300m), staff did not support the application.

Their decision was based on concerns received from impacted organizations, and how the store could impact vulnerable and at-risk populations.

Campbell River director of planning Peter Wipper explains. “We received six letters back, half of them were from tenants within the same building and also there were some in the immediate area including our Campbell River (First Nations) Band.

Among the letters were from Ritchie Quocksister, a member of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation, who does not support the opening of a cannabis retail store anywhere near the Nation, citing concerns about pre-existing vagrancy and drug use issues in and around the community.

Similar letters of opposition came from Spark Therapeutics, Communitas Supportive Care Society, Denise Mitchell Interiors, Elaine Macdonald, Director of Care for the Discovery Harbour Care Centre, and Chief Councillor Chris Roberts of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation.

The report said that staff “does not believe it is appropriate for a cannabis retail store to operate within the same building as businesses that support vulnerable and at-risk youth.”