On October 17, 2018, Canada became the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalize the cultivation, possession, acquisition and consumption of cannabis. (Pixabay Image)

Ucluelet sparks up Cannabis Sales discourse

Town’s municipal council reviews permit requests from three unique properties

During their July 9 regular meeting, Ucluelet’s municipal council approved a request to add Cannabis Sales as a permitted use on three unique properties.

Leaf Compassion at 1972 Peninsula Rd. between Abbondanza’s Pizza and Vancouver Island Hydroponics, Ucluelet Cannabis Co. located behind the Ucluelet Liquor Store at 1786 Peninsula Rd., and Green Leaves Cannabis Co. down the hill from Barry’s Drug Store at 1685 Peninsula Road are under consideration.

“All three of these applications have a lot of work to do by the looks of it,” said Coun. Marilyn McEwen.

“I really like the opportunity to fix that horrible parking situation [in front of 1972 Peninsula] and I am kind of keen to see a public hearing.”

Mayor Mayco Noel re-iterated.

“This is just a start of a lot of a lot of other things that need to get lined up,” said Noel.

In order for Leaf Compassion (1972 Peninsula Rd.) to move forward, council has requested the applicant’s commitment to funding new curb, gutter, sidewalk and landscaped boulevard works to improve pedestrian safety along the length of the property frontage.

The application at 1986 Peninsula Rd. (behind the Ucluelet Liquor Store) is for an existing storage building located on the Larch Road frontage.

“This applicant [1986 Peninsula Rd.] is a little ahead of the other two just by having his preliminary approval by the liquor control board,” noted McEwen.

The applicant, Andrew Hanson, also garnered 92 signatures from locals approving a Cannabis Retail Store on the Larch Road frontage area.

Councillor Rachelle Cole was the lone member of council to oppose all three applications.

“For a community with serious, current, and long standing Substance Abuse issues to consider putting yet another option of the same as one of our newest business ventures is a massive mistake,” she wrote in an email to the Westerly.

“At the end of the day with [Cannabis] being so easy to access privately and discreetly – making Cannabis stores part of the Friendly Ucluelet Landscape offers no real benefit to the community and we have much at stake when it comes to keeping Ukee safe and family first. We have neighbours to the East that have plenty of opportunity to allow travellers to shop pre West Coast and neighbours to the North that are embarking down this trail. I say we let them do it,” she continued.

“I can confirm that our tourist population does not appear to have a problem finding product to indulge in because as a paramedic the 911 ‘Help, I’ve smoked too much dope,’ is a reality and on the rise,” said Coun. Cole, the BC Ambulance Unit Chief for Ucluelet.

Applicant at 1685 Peninsula Road (lower to Barry’s Drug Store) has the “biggest ask out of all the applicants”, remarked mayor Noel.

“It’s all upon them. It’s about the tenacity of actually making the financial commitment to get it to the next stage,” he said.

Cannabis Retail Sales approval at 1685 Peninsula Rd. is subject to street improvements, upgrades to the building, and new landscaping.

Bruce Greig, Ucluelet’s manager of community planning, said they hope to have the Cannabis Sales zoning amendment bylaws come forward for these three applications in mid-August, for Council’s consideration of first and second reading.

“But the timeline is entirely dependent on the applicants supplying all the required information,” said Greig.

The time and date of the Public Hearings on Cannabis Sales in Ucluelet will be advertised in upcoming editions of the Westerly.

Anyone interested in learning more is encouraged to visit the District of Ucluelet Cannabis Legislation web page.


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READ: Tofino picks two frontrunners for pot shop permits (June 24, 2019)

READ: Tofino approves permit for cannabis production facility (June 25, 2019)

VIDEO: Cannabis edibles may drive up life insurance premiums (June 27, 2019)

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