The district of Sparwood is seeking feedback on its Recreation Master Plan. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Non-medical cannabis store proposed for Sparwood

If approved, Elk Valley Cannabis would be the first cannabis business in the district

Sparwood could see it’s first non-medical cannabis store open in the district, depending on how the community feels about it.

Elk Valley Cannabis has applied for a non-medical cannabis retail store license in downtown Sparwood at 127 Centennial Square.

At the most recent council meeting, district councillors voted to go ahead with making a recommendation on whether the business should be given an operating license by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), after discussion on the best way to go forward. A non-medical cannabis store retail license cannot be given without input from the municipality.

Mayor David Wilks prefaced early discussion amongst councillors by pointing out that cannabis was legal in Canada, “so it’s not a point of anything other than ‘is this somewhere appropriate for a place to go’ – because it’s legal (and) no different to a liquor store.”

Councillors decided to throw public consultation open to written submissions and a public hearing, with councillors Jason Christenen and Brad Bowen expressing a preference for a more open process given the proposed store’s proximity to a daycare facility downtown.

According to the application, the store if approved would be located between a salon, the Sparwood Food Bank and a child care facility. The entrance to the proposed store would be on the other side of the building than the entrance to the daycare.

After some discussion on what the council was hoping to achieve by throwing consultation open to the entire town and not just nearby businesses and residents, Coun. Christensen said that he didn’t want to be mistaken for being anti-business.

“It’s not a personal decision here, it’s what’s best for the town.”

The district will make a recommendation to the LCRB on whether it should allow the operating license to be given after the public hearing has occurred, which the district said would be on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 6pm. Written submissions must be received before noon on Feb. 16.

Neighbouring Fernie has three cannabis stores, of which the first opened in 2019.

READ MORE: Elk Valley’s first cannabis store opens its doors, serves first customer



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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