William Charles (Chip) Seymour. (Citizen file)

Cowichan Tribes fears favouritism holding up pot shop applications

Chief Seymour says government taking too long for decision on Costa Canna

Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour wonders whether the province is playing fair ball with the First Nation.

Seymour said Cowichan Tribes completed an application form from the province’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch to set up a retail marijuana store in the Duncan Mall eight weeks ago under the banner of Costa Canna, a partnership headed by Cowichan Tribes.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN TRIBES CANNABIS PARTNERSHIP AIMS HIGH

He said he was told by the province at the time that it should take no more than two and half weeks to go through the application process, which includes a security clearance.

The fact that it is taking so long for the application to be processed, with no explanations, makes Seymour question whether the delay is connected to a second application by Costa Canna for a pot outlet in Cowichan Commons.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN CONSIDERS TWO APPLICATIONS FOR POT SHOPS IN SHOPPING CENTRE

“The province is also looking to set up a marijuana retail store in Cowichan Commons, and it may be that they want to stall us and get their foot in the door to open up their store ahead of us,” Seymour said.

“Once the licence for our Costa Canna location in Duncan Mall is issued, the information that the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch compiled on Costa Canna would automatically apply to our application to open a store in Cowichan Commons, but the process has been delayed for some reason.”

Minister or Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, who is responsible for cannabis licensing in B.C., said he cannot comment on individual applications during the application process, as they are considered private business matters between the applicant and the LCRB.

“But as far as competitive advantage for a retailer, public or private, this is not a factor when the LCRB considers licence applications,” Farnworth said in a statement.

“Consideration of licence applications takes into account a wide range of factors aimed at protecting public safety and ensuring organized crime is kept out of the legal market.”

Approvals from both the province and local municipalities are required to open pot shops in B.C., so the province’s Liquor Distribution Branch and Costa Canna had also filed applications with the Municipality of North Cowichan to open retail pot stores in the Cowichan Commons shopping centre.

RELATED STORY: GOVERNMENT-OPERATED POT SHOP PROPOSAL FOR NORTH COWICHAN WON’T BE RUSHED

But North Cowichan’s criteria for cannabis stores states that, for now, no two of the stores are permitted within 300 metres of each other within the municipality.

There are other criteria, including that pot stores not be located within 600 metres of a school or playgrounds, that neither application meets.

At a council meeting earlier this month, North Cowichan gave first reading to the Liquor Distribution Branch’s application, but denied Costa Canna’s application because, as well as the other criteria, the store would be located at the terminal of a major pedestrian trail system and it would be situated in a site where security would be a concern.

However, Costa Canna officials informed council they had decided on another nearby location in Cowichan Commons that wouldn’t have these concerns, so council suggested that Costa Canna resubmit its application to council again after consulting with the province’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch about its proposed new location, as it is required to do.

In the meantime, council has decided to review the municipality’s criteria for pot shops within North Cowichan.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Brothers in Cowichan Valley win big in lottery for 2nd time

Playimng same numbers net big wins over a three year period

Two Cowichan Tribes families devastated by duplex fire

Carla Sylvester sat in her vehicle, on Tuesday morning, with tears in… Continue reading

Enjoy an evening of fun on the Cowichan stage with ‘Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike’

A talented cast, and an entertaining play: sounds like a winner to us

What is the future of Shawnigan Lake?

‘Think Shawnigan’ project wants your ideas

Lefebure rebuilds his previous life in construction

Former North Cowichan Mayor enjoys the transition back to physical outdoor work

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in US after ‘accidentally’ crossing border

Parents travelling with three-month-old reportedly being held in Pennsylvania

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

VIDEO: Trudeau, Singh posture for ‘progressive’ votes while Scheer fights in Quebec

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party has been on the rise in recent polls, is campaigning in Toronto

Advance voter turnout up 25% for first two days: Elections Canada

Two million people voted Friday and Saturday

Okanagan principals told to confiscate vaping products from students

Vaping is up 74 per cent in youth over the last two years, according to one Canadian study

Most Read