After a very dry first year of federal cannabis legalization, it looks like North Vancouverites might finally have a shot at buying legal weed close to home.
The City of North Vancouver council has sent four new cannabis retail store applicants to the public hearing stage, while the District of North Vancouver has approximately six more shops in the pipeline awaiting a vote of approval.
This coming Monday, council is scheduled to listen to public feedback for Lonsdale Cannabis and Cannabis Boutique on Lonsdale Ave., Herb Garden on East 2nd St. and Quantum 1 Cannabis on Marine Dr.
Last year, the city blocked multiple wannabe weed shops from opening on Marine Dr. and Lonsdale Ave., with councillors citing provincial regulations requiring dispensaries to have opaque storefronts as being incongruent with the intended desire for Lonsdale to appear as an upscale “high street,” no pun intended.
“We are always concerned about Lonsdale being our high street, and when the windows have to be blacked out or faded out, this location seems kind of perfect because it’s there, but it’s not really there,” said Councillor Holly Back, as she cast her vote in support of the shops earlier this month.
Nearby, council for the District of North Vancouver has opted to send three retail hopefuls to public hearings, and will consider the applications of another three retailers. The latter three are all proposed to open on Marine Dr., meaning the region may be getting its “high street” after all, albeit perhaps not as originally intended.
While North Vancouver’s retail approval approach may seem heavy-handed, it could be worse; the neighbouring District of West Vancouver has outright banned cannabis retail stores.
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Written by Emma Spears