Three would-be cannabis retail shops in Castlegar have cleared another hurdle at city hall.
Council gave its approval for the three retail outlets to open at a meeting Monday night.
Residents and business owners who live within a 800 metres of the proposed stores had until Dec. 27 to comment on the applications.
Council received four written comments in total for the three proposals, and one person raised a concern verbally.
In all three applications, council came to the conclusion that the businesses were properly located in commercial or highway areas, and would not have a negative impact on the community.
But that’s not the end of the approval process.
The applications now go to the provincial government, which decides whether or not to give final approval for the businesses to operate. Then the application goes back to council one more time to decide whether or not to issue a city business licence.
The three applications are for: Spirit Leaf, which wants to open at 114-1502 Columbia Ave. (in the Columbia Mall); Cannaland Cannabis Ltd. at the old Arby’s on 17th Street; and Higher Path at 102-2032 Columbia Ave.
If approved, it’s still not known when the businesses will finally be able open their doors.
A proposed outlet called Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop has also applied to open at 107-1983 Columbia. Its public process won’t begin until next week.
When the city passed its retail cannabis bylaw, council set few limits on where businesses could open or how many could open in the city. Market conditions will determine how many will last.
Meanwhile, other cities in the West Kootenay are moving along with retail cannabis applications.
The City of Trail has approved four applications, which are now on their way to the province for approval. It will consider a fifth application soon.
The City of Nelson is in the consultation phase for at least three proposed retail outlets. Those proposals go before council later this month.
The province set up its retail cannabis process after the federal government legalized recreational marijuana on Oct. 17.