The City of Delta has moved a step closer to having its first recreational legal cannabis store.
Council on Monday agreed to grant preliminary approval for a rezoning application to open a dispensary at 616 Chester Road, located on Annacis Island.
Council unanimously voted in favour of the staff recommendation without discussion.
The application will now go to a public hearing, likely sometime next month.
The operation would be within a 3,638-square-foot portion of an existing multi-tenant industrial building.
The proposed cannabis dispensary would be operated by Seed & Stone, a non-medical cannabis retailer which currently operates one store in Chilliwack and is expanding to Victoria and elsewhere in B.C.
A Delta staff report notes that the owner has more than 20 years of experience in retail including managing liquor stores.
The report also notes that given the proposed location, the Community Planning and Development Department, Property Use and Compliance Division and Delta Police have reviewed the proposal and do not anticipate any impacts to the community.
Prior to the legalization of cannabis in Canada in 2018, Delta council passed a bylaw prohibiting cannabis stories in all zones, but kept the door open to consider them on a case-by-case basis.
The idea was to restrict any potential cannabis businesses to industrial zones.
“In the absence of a policy or regulations for cannabis dispensaries, staff have reviewed locational considerations of other municipalities and have confirmed that this location would meet what other municipalities have established as minimum distances from sensitive uses such as schools, parks and recreation centres,” the report notes.
To be granted a licence by the province, proposals for cannabis stores must be supported by the host local government.
Since legalization, many local governments have authorized one or more cannabis dispensaries.
Those dispensaries are operating legally under the regulations and enforcement by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), the report notes.
However, some local governments, such as the City of Richmond and City of Surrey, continue to prohibit them.