Vernon now has an approved 13 cannabis shops in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon, the ‘Pot capital of B.C.’ greenlights two new stores downtown

Two more shops, within 240 metres, approved, despite neighbouring businesses opposition

A laissez-faire approach is being taken as the number of cannabis outlets continues to grow in Vernon.

Two more retail shops have been given the nod, just 240 metres from each other, on 30th Avenue in downtown. Vernon council agreed Monday, Jan. 25, to forward the applications to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) for consideration.

Councillors were split on the decision, which must still get approval from the LCRB. So far, the branch has only turned down one of 21 applications from Vernon. There are 13 in operation around town, with the latest two capping the limit of six in the downtown area.

While he would normally be all for letting the businesses compete, Coun. Scott Anderson is not in favour of this many cannabis outlets in town.

“We’re already known as the pot capital of B.C. and that’s saying something,” Anderson said. “That is not a legacy that I want to leave behind me.

“This is not just another product, this is a controlled substance, like alcohol.”

READ MORE: Two cannabis shops vie for last downtown Vernon spots

Mayor Victor Cumming wonders how these businesses can even survive.

“The number of these establishments in our vicinity is very high. There’s the green mile (Westside Road), there’s another one by the airport on IR 6. I believe there will be a shakeout, I don’t think there’s the margins to allow that many,” Cumming said.

“I have been surprised by how little activity there is out in front of these businesses around the city. I don’t know how they’re making enough money.”

In the meantime, Cumming said a bylaw and RCMP reported from approximately one year ago said there have been no issues with any of the cannabis outlets. Each application submitted to the city includes a non-refundable $5,000 fee.

“This is the cost of doing business,” Anderson said.

But these specific applications drew a number of concerns, with six letters of opposition for one.

“Although competition is healthy, at this scale the viability of the existing retail outlets is already stretched,” Hive Cannabis owner Neil Rockerbie said in a letter to council. “Secondly, this retail outlet is located a stone’s throw of Hive Cannabis and I would question the need for another cannabis outlet in such close proximity.”

Hive is located within 50 metres of one of the proposals being forwarded.

“It’s becoming saturated in the downtown,” Coun. Dalvir Nahal said.

READ MORE: Vernon pulls trigger on goose cull


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Businesscanadian evergreencannabis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Okanagan’s first virtual wedding fair will be held Saturday, March 27. {Paul Rodgers photo)
Okanagan to host virtual wedding fair

Okanagan wine country is No. 1 destination for weddings - online event set for March 27

Wills Hodgkinson, 10, and his mom Neeley Brimer get ready to battle round three of cancer. The community of Penticton has his back. (Submitted)
Community raises $21K to help Penticton boy battle third round of cancer

Okanoggin Barbers held the fundraiser on Saturday for 10-year-old Wills Hodgkinson

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
UPDATE: 70-year-old man killed in workplace accident at Baldy Mountain

The mountain closed on Saturday but has partially re-opened today (Sunday)

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Summerland affordable housing proposal opposed

“For a building that will change the dynamic of a small town, I would have expected more discussion.”

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Unknown Persona (Jacob Chrystal) performs at the Kelowna Community Theatre’s Black Box theatre on Feb. 28, 2021. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
The show must go on: Kelowna musicians take virtual stage to keep playing

Rebellious Unicorns offers local artists the chance to perform live, a rarity amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

FILE  - In this Friday, Jan 1, 2021 file photo, a lorry driver's documents are scanned on a phone as he passes a checkpoint for the train through the Eurotunnel link with Europe in Folkestone, England. One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union's economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. Meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of byzantine new paperwork. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FINLAYSON: Government should focus on strengthening B.C.’s leading export industries

To revive the economy, this piece in the strategy is integral, writes Jock Finlayson

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

Most Read