No cannabis free-for-all
Kirk Penton - Oct 10, 2018 - Biz Releases

File photo: Kate Bouey

RE/Max believes Kelowna is one of two Canadian commercial real estate “hot spots” when it comes to cannabis, but the city’s community planning department manager Ryan Smith still wants a slow, deliberate process to determine who can sell recreational marijuana.

The RE/Max report indicated there are more than 900 properties in Kelowna where rezoning for recreational marijuana sales is possible, but that doesn’t mean there are going to be that many businesses selling cannabis.

“As rezonings start to happen, because of the setbacks that are required between retail stores—500 metres—that number will start to drop pretty quickly,” Smith said. “So it seems like a big number, but it’s really not.

“There’s lots of commercial properties that are out there that are a potential right off the bat, but as soon as we approve one downtown that might preclude 80 other properties.”

Smith said the city is currently communicating with “dozens” of potential applicants but has yet to receive an official rezoning application. Businesses have until the end of November to submit their proposals, and the best ones will be approved, not the first ones into the pile.

“Getting the best result from this Canada-wide change is the goal and making sure there is good public safety and that we get tasteful, high-quality businesses moving to Kelowna or opening in Kelowna,” Smith said. “That’s the goal, rather than allowing a free-for-all to happen.”

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