Jeff Sweetnam owns SpiritLeaf, the first cannabis store to open in Maple Ridge. (THE NEWS – files)

Jeff Sweetnam owns SpiritLeaf, the first cannabis store to open in Maple Ridge. (THE NEWS – files)

Council OKs first step for second Maple Ridge pot store

Applicant told to seek zoning bylaw change

Maple Ridge council has told the operators of the Haney Hotel to apply for a zoning bylaw change that could allow a second legal cannabis store to open in the downtown.

Council, last week, decided against a staff recommendation that called for rejecting a proposal for the store and instead directed the hotel to request a zoning bylaw text change.

“I think we have a supply problem in this community … and I think this application should be supported,” said Coun. Gordy Robson.

Government-operated cannabis stores “don’t appear to be surfacing … I don’t know why,” he added.

Read more: Maple Ridge’s first retail cannabis store opens Monday

Maple Ridge currently has one legal cannabis store, Spiritleaf, which opened last August in ValleyFair Mall.

The city’s bylaw requires a minimum of one kilometre between non-medicinal cannabis stores.

Staff, at council’s Dec. 10 meeting, recommended rejection of the application because the distance between the property lines from the hotel to Spiritleaf is just less than a kilometre.

However, when measured door-to-door, the one-kilometre distance requirement between the two stores is met, Robson said.

The application passed the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch requirements, after which the branch forwarded the application to the city.

Read more: Council approves first private pot store in Maple Ridge

Planning and development services general manager Christine Carter told council that a text amendment to the zoning bylaw would apply to the Haney Hotel location only.

Coun. Judy Dueck said that the city is dealing with cannabis store applications on a case-by-case basis and supported the decision.

The city doesn’t get many complaints about either liquor or cannabis stores, “so that tells you something,” she added.

However, Coun. Kiersten Duncan voted against the application, noting that the RCMP has raised concerns with a cannabis store being located in the same building as a pub.

Read more: Maple Ridge council defers decision on cannabis store

Staff told council that the RCMP’s comments weren’t directed towards the Haney Hotel, in particular, but generally to pot stores being located next to liquor stores.

However, police didn’t address that scenario where Spiritleaf is located close to a liquor store.

Mayor Mike Morden said council is continuing with its cautious approach towards cannabis and treating it similarly to alcohol.

A public process would be required to make the text change, he added.

Spiritleaf opened in August, selling cannabis flower, rolled joints, oils and CBD products.

But by Christmas time, the store will have edible cannabis products, such as gummy candies, chocolates and concentrates.

Edible cannabis products have been legal since October, but have been delayed for two months by Health Canada.

Applications to open recreational cannabis stores must all go to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch of B.C.

If those applications meet government standards, they’re then forwarded to each city council for final approval.

Maple Ridge regulations also give preference to stores operated by the government.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Melissa Harris and Michaela Freeman will play key roles in a live-on-Zoom performance of <em>The Schoolmistress </em>for Theatre in the Country. (Special to The News)
Pair of Maple Ridge theatre pros involved in live-on-Zoom play

Melissa Harris and Michaela Freeman will take part in the performance of a 135-year-old British farce

Here’s a view of the Alouette River looking east, taken by Barbara McConville. (Special to The News)
SHARE

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Gloria Hamilton stands in front of a home in Maple Ridge’s Academy Park subdivision, which recently sold for well over the asking price. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)
Bidding wars driving up real estate in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows

Price of houses up some 20 per cent over last year

The Maple Ridge Branch of the SPCA received a donation of more than $4,500 from B&F Automotive after their NYA fundraiser. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge auto shop organizes virtual bingo to raise funds for SPCA

B&F Automotive’s New Year’s Eve fundraiser amassed more than $4,500 for the animal welfare charity

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover digging in with B.C.-made part

Kennametal’s Langford plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Most Read