City council held a public hearing Tuesday to hear what residents had to say about a proposal to open a cannabis retail store in Ladner.
The rezoning application by Imagine Cannabis would see a non-medical dispensary open at the Ladner Centre shopping mall.
Also requiring a provincial licence, it is proposed to be open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
It’s the only cannabis application currently on the books for Ladner, while applications have already been approved for dispensaries in North Delta, Tsawwassen as well as Annacis Island.
Applicant Harp Hoonjan, who recently had an application to open a store in Tsawwassen approved, told council they looked at several potential Ladner sites and that the unit at the shopping mall will be a discreet, conveniently located store that will be a fit for the community.
Only two people spoke at the hearing, one in favour and one opposed.
Council voted in favour of the application with only Coun. Lois Jackson casting a vote in opposition, saying that the city shouldn’t be allowing cannabis stores to open “willy-nilly” in shopping centres.
Coun. Dylan Kruger noted legalization and “reasonable access” is working when it comes to reducing crime and the illicit market.
Also on the hearing agenda were two other applications to open cannabis shops.
One of those applications by Queensborough Cannabis would see a store open in a unit in the Scott 72 Centre shopping centre, located at Scott Road and 72 Avenue in North Delta.
The other application by Paul Sahota would see a cannabis shop open at the Tidewater Pub and liquor store at 10190 River Road. That proposed cannabis dispensary would be operated under the business name Kushi Cannabis Co.
Both were also approved, although Jackson asked, “how much is enough?”
The city could end up with nine cannabis stores if all the applications currently in the system are approved and join the applications that have already been approved.
That includes an application to open a dispensary in an industrial area at 7550 River Road, which is still under review and is the last to come to council.
The city has imposed a moratorium on accepting and considering any further applications and it remains to be seen if that freeze will be lifted.