Meeting on Coombs cannabis retail store proposal draws small group

RDN board approves variance for store location

A public information meeting concerning a non-medical cannabis retail store application for a property in Coombs was a brief session.

There were only approximately 20 people who attended the meeting March 27 at the Arrowsmith Hall at the Coombs Fairgrounds. It was presided over by Electoral Area F alternate director Julian Fell and lasted approximately 20 minutes.

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s acting planning manager, Greg Keller, explained to the public that regional district does not issue licences for non-medical cannabis retail stores and that it is the sole jurisdiction of the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). As part of the process, the RDN is required to endorse the application. But before that, the regional district has to determine the impact it will have in the community and consider the concerns of residents.

The applicant John Murray, who is seeking to acquire a licence from the LCRB to operate a non-medical cannabis retail store — Coombs Cannabis — at an existing building located on 2254 Alberni Hwy, was also present at the meeting along with Rachel Hamling from Sims Associates Land Surveying.

Murray said there are five people involved in the project that includes his wife and two daughters and that all of them were subjected to intensive security checks and financial reviews. They also needed to get their security plans, site and floor plans approved.

“We brought the process to where we are today,” Murray said. “Now we’re at the stage where we have a design for the building.”

The RDN board approved the development variance permit for the location of the retail store at its regular meeting on March 26.

At the public meeting, only three people stood up to ask questions. No one raised opposition to the proposed store.

Fell encouraged others to also make submissions if they wish to do so. All the comments and submissions will be compiled and submitted to the RDN board for consideration when they make its decision whether to support Murray’s application.

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