North Van district approves third pot shop

District of North Vancouver council has approved the municipality’s third legal cannabis shop.

Council voted July 27 to approve North Shore Cannabis’ proposal for a pot shop at 1520 Barrow St.

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The store will occupy the same complex as Toby’s Liquor Store and will be owned by the same family.

When it came to public input, the district received three letters in support of the rezoning and two opposed. Only one member of the public spoke at the virtual public hearing held immediately prior to the vote. Most of the comments opposed to the application took issue with the legalization of cannabis more broadly, rather than the specific location up for debate.

“The time to debate, in my view, legalization has passed,” said Coun. Jim Hanson. “What we have to decide is, very strictly, the siting of these stores.”

The proposal was the first one in the district to receive a unanimous vote by council. With commercial zoning, adequate parking, few adjacent residences nearby and responsible owners, Hanson said the application was easy to support.

Mayor Mike Little agreed.

“I do think this is the kind of site I had in mind when we had the discussion about guidelines focusing on the town centres – places where you already had commercial retail opportunities, and also ones that were not necessarily so closely connected to where a school property might be,” he said. “I get that that's optics and that the likelihood [a cannabis shop] would result in risk to exposure to children is remote. It’s just about sending a signal about the appropriateness of the land use.”

Coun. Lisa Muri did not attend the July 27 virtual meeting.

District council has also given approvals for a Muse Cannabis Store in Deep Cove’s Dollarton Plaza and a Budhouse at 1199 Marine Dr. Council rejected an application for a Hobo Cannabis at 1629 Marine Dr., and the applicants for a Kiaro Cannabis at 1560 Main St. pulled their application before a public hearing could he held.

City of North Vancouver council has approved four pot shops so far, although only one, First Cannabis on West First Street, has opened. Others approved but not yet open include Lonsdale Cannabis at 1433 Lonsdale Ave, a BC Cannabis Store at Park & Tilford, and Quantum 1 Cannabis and 820 Marine Dr.

The District of West Vancouver council voted in 2018 to ban cannabis sales and production.

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