Challenges facing private retail pot shops and proposed solutions won’t make any difference in Delta.
City council got a letter from Fernie, B.C. retailer Stick and Stone Cannabis Co. seeking support for further safety COVID-19 measures including changing private cannabis retail regulations to allow online sales and direct door-to-door delivery.
Store owner Dennis Schafer wrote, “With our recommended adjustments to the current regulations that were designed for a pre-pandemic world, we would be able to continue to safely provide much-needed products to our at-risk products who are unable to leave the house, ensure a contactless experience for those who are able to visit the store for curbside pickup and keep our staff safe.”
BC Cannabis Stores is the sole online cannabis retailer in the province.
Schafer also noted an elderly customer in desperate need asked for curbside pickup and that the delivery times to order from a BC Cannabis Store were too lengthy.
A Delta staff response noted Delta’s zoning bylaw specifically prohibits cannabis retail sales anywhere in the city.
Any private or government retail application requires a positive response from a host municipality and Mayor George Harvie in a previous interview with the Optimist noted Delta is in no hurry to allow any of them to set up shop locally.
At Delta council last year staff outlined a proposed process to consider applications but Harvie was quick to shut that down, saying he wants to make it loud and clear Delta's new zoning bylaw will remain, despite the legalization of cannabis.
"We don't want anyone hopeful that this is only temporary and we're just in a holding pattern. I want to send the message that Delta is not open for business, we're closed for business," he said.
While there’s currently no application by the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch to open a government-run recreational cannabis store in Delta, the branch last year reached out to city council, providing information on the possibility of a B.C. Cannabis Store.
The city four years ago shut down a medical pot dispensary that has been operating on Scott Road in North Delta without a licence.