The first cannabis retail application Vernon council rejected will soon be revisited.
At its regular meeting two weeks ago, council voted 3-3 on an application for a cannabis retail store in the 2800 block of 35th Street. With Coun. Dalvir Nahal absent, the tie vote resulted in the application being defeated and, as such, would not be sent to the province for consideration.
Not so fast.
At its latest meeting Monday, with all of council present, a motion put forward by Mayor Victor Cumming to revisit the application passed unanimously.
“Significant new information (on this application) has come forward,” said Cumming.
Coun. Scott Anderson, voted against the application in the first place (as did Couns. Kari Gares and Cumming).
“I hope it’s not pressure from folks,” said Anderson. “I would like to get much more information. If we say no to one then get a stack of information that we probably should have had in the first place, I would request that staff supply any information that is available.”
Cumming said all of the new information came forward after council’s first vote.
The previous application had received the most input out of all that landed at city hall, spearheaded by a 43-signature petition from the Vernon Pensioners Accommodation Society, based in McCullough Court a block away from the proposed site.
Alice Heward, who led the petition drive, had no idea the application was going to be revisited.
“I can’t believe they’re doing this,” she said, adding the society is not against the pot shop, just the location. “We haven ‘t been notified.”
The society wrote in a letter to council on the original application that its tenants “are concerned this (retail site) will bring more of the street people hanging around this area and they feel we already have enough…Some of our tenants have been mugged, held at knifepoint, followed and they’re just plain fed up with it.”
Council deferred the motion to revisit to a further meeting. They have supported 10 of 11 cannabis retail applications thus far.