Council considers pot shops

Three applications for retail cannabis storefronts are working their way through the approval process in Osoyoos.

Town councillors got a first look Monday at the third pot shop proposed for the community, at the rear of the Owl Pub and Liquor Store at 7603 Spartan Drive.

Town staff voiced some concerns about the location, mainly that primary access to the store would be through an active loading area and that parking would not be adequate.

Whether the cannabis store is approved for not, town staff have now asked the building’s owner to reopen the under-building parking area to comply with permits issued during the structure’s original construction.

“Once the under-building parking area is reopened it is likely that street parking on Spartan Drive will decrease,” a report from director of planning Gina Mackay said.

The parking area was previously closed due to problems with vagrants and loitering, but the building’s owners have indicated they will try to mitigate the issue with cameras or staff. Council voted to send the application to a public hearing Feb. 19.

A public hearing was also held Monday for a cannabis store application in a currently vacant space at 8322 Main Street. Michelle Howardson is seeking to open a store there under the Maple Leaf Greenery banner.

No one beyond the proponent spoke at the hearing. City staff have supported the planned store. Council will have to provide final approval at a later date.

The two shops still before council are in addition to one already approved by the municipality at 8304 72 Ave. Construction in underway at the former home of Osoyoos signs for a store called Interior Cannabis Co.

That store is still awaiting a license from the provincial government, the final stage before a store can be opened.

The Town of Osoyoos has said it will not allow any government-run cannabis stores to open.

There has been, so far, no applications for legal pot shops within the nearby Town of Oliver.

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