At the Sept. 11 Qualicum Beach council meeting, council received public input on a temporary-use permit for the medical marijuana dispensary in the downtown core. If approved, the dispensary would be located on Fir Street to the left of Naked Naturals. — NEWS file photo

Proposed dispensary ‘too close’ to Kwalikum Secondary School

Vote on temporary-use permit at Oct. 2 meeting

People have a few more weeks to provide input on a temporary-use permit for a medical marijuana dispensary in Qualicum Beach.

At Monday’s (Sept. 11) council meeting, Qualicum Beach council received public input on a temporary-use permit for a marijuana dispensary, proposed by VanIsle Wellness Centre Ltd.

RELATED: Qualicum Beach council looking for input on local dispensary

While only two residents got up to speak, both agreed the location (675 Fir St., to the left of Naked Naturals) isn’t ideal.

Heather Jacobs said the proposed location for the dispensary is too close to Kwalikum Secondary School. Jacobs suggested having a dispensary out in Coombs or Errington instead.

Patrick Thibault also agreed the location was too close to the high school.

“I know Vancouver, as an example, has the limit of 300 metres from a school,” he said. “Obviously we have a greater distance than 300 metres but it is an area where students cut across it; kind of the walking path to the town.”

The report from planning director Luke Sales states the dispensary is approximately 280 metres from the southwest corner of the KSS property and is 380 metres from the closest school building.

Coun. Anne Skipsey previously said she was concerned about the dispensary’s proximity to the school, adding that while medical marijuana dispensaries do “appear to be inevitable,” the retail sale of medical marijuana is still contrary to federal law.

The temporary use permit would expire after a set amount of time, said Sales.

If approved, he said, the licence would likely be for a year, which would then give council time to see the impact of the dispensary and if there are issues with proximity to the school.

The report includes a description of the business provided by the applicant, which states, “the business will focus on human wellness by providing medical marijuana products plus conventional products and services related to practices such as massage, reiki and yoga.”

The temporary use permit application will return to council at its Oct. 2 regular council meeting. Mayor Teunis Westbroek said people will be given another chance for public input then.

The application also states the business will be “primarily catering to seniors, and as such, staff will be chosen to work efficiently with this demographic.”

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