Thompson city council approved first reading of a bylaw that would add cannabis stores and dispensaries to their list of permitted uses in two commercial zones at their Oct. 19 meeting.
If second and third reading pass, the bylaw would amend the city’s zoning bylaw to add cannabis outlets as permitted/conditional uses in the commercial mixed use and commercial downtown one zones.
“Currently the cannabis stores in our city fall under a more general retail definition,” city manager Anthony McInnis told councillors before they voted on first reading. “This will allow the tightening up of the definition so that it’s specific to cannabis.”
Coun Earl Colborne said he was fine with the proposed amendment.
“I don’t think you’re going to be opening pot stores in the middle of a neighbourhood but in commercial areas I’m quite content with it,” he said.
Coun. Jeff Fountain asked if the change was just being made to accommodate the two existing cannabis stores in the city – Meta Cannabis in the Mystery Lake Hotel and Delta 9 Cannabis in the City Centre Mall.
“There’s a third business that has come forward requesting opening of a store,” said McInnis.
The owner of the Burntwood Hotel submitted a conditional use application in July to open a retail store in the commercial mixed use zone. The proposed location of the store is in the Selkirk Room at the hotel, which used to house Rucker’s and is currently used as a meeting room.
A public hearing on the bylaw to amend the zoning bylaw will be held at council chambers prior to the council meeting on Nov. 16. If no one objects to the bylaw, second and third reading could be approved at the subsequent council meeting.