Opposition unable to nip Chase cannabis application in the bud

Despite some opposition, the Chase, B.C., council approved an application for a cannabis store, whose owner says it will be similar to his other location Barriere Budz. Barriere Budz Facebook photo

A proposed cannabis store in B.C.’s Shuswap was given the green light by Chase council.

The application came for approval at the Jan. 9 meeting, with two letters from the public expressing opposition to the location at 560 Shuswap Ave.

Both the Legion and Chase Creekside Seniors Centre submitted letters regarding the store’s proximity to the library, recreation centre and a major intersection that school kids use daily.

Applicant Sandeep Mahal, who also owns Barriere Budz, assured council the store is subject to provincial regulations and as such will have frosted windows and security cameras inside and out, with smoking on the property prohibited and minors not allowed in.

Despite the opposition, the majority of council supported the application. “I don’t have a problem with it. It’s provincially supported and licensed, and I don’t see any difference… (than) having a liquor store,” Coun. Jane Herman said.

“And I don’t see why would not go ahead with it.”

Coun. Colin Connett, however, supported the opposition, saying the people had spoken and were very against the location.

When asked about other possible properties though, Mahal explained this site has the necessary zoning while not being out of town where there’s less customer traffic.

While admitting to being slightly torn on the matter, Coun. Fred Torbohm offered a comparison of a pot shop to a pub, which is also near that location.

“We have a drinking establishment on the other side of the street,” he pointed out.

“You’re comparing the two businesses and on one, you say it’s fine to have the kids walking by the liquor establishment, but it’s not fine for them to walk by the cannabis store.

“That makes no sense to me at all.”

Their arguments couldn’t sway Connett though, who stood firm against it. “I have to listen to the people that wrote those letters, I have to represent them.”

The motion to support the application passed with Connett opposed while Coun. Ron Harder was absent.

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