Buds Cannabis plans to open a Sidney location in this building on Second Street. In the past, it has served as a campaign office for local MP Elizabeth May. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Buds Cannabis plans to open a Sidney location in this building on Second Street. In the past, it has served as a campaign office for local MP Elizabeth May. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney moves toward second cannabis shop

Buds Cannabis plans to open store on Second Street

Plans for what could be Sidney’s second cannabis shop have moved to the next step.

Sidney residents will now a chance to share their views about the proposed cannabis store at 9775 Second St. planning to operate under the name of Buds Cannabis, whose Sidney-based owners are currently operating a location in Central Saanich.

This development follows council’s decision to trigger the next step in the application process. Council told the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) in the late fall of 2020 that the municipality would wait until the applicants had passed their “fit and proper assessment” under the terms of the LCRB before starting its process to make a formal recommendation.

A report completed by Sidney staff after the LCRB’s assessment finds the Buds Cannabis application has “met additional submission requirements” as per Sidney’s liquor and cannabis licensing policy.

The location of the proposed business, some 50 metres off Beacon Avenue, places it outside the 100-metre buffer of any “other cannabis retailers, liquor stores, child care facilities, daycares, educational facilities, libraries, public recreation centres, public community centres, parks, places of worship and other family-oriented businesses.”

The location is zoned for cannabis retail and staff’s initial assessment finds that the proposed store “appears to be in an acceptable location.”

Staff have also found the business’s proposed size, facade and window treatment are consistent with the area. Staff have also noted that the applicants have addressed any issues such odour, noting that the proposed location neither includes residential nor other commercial tenants. Staff noted 443 units and properties lie within the required notification radius of 100 metres.

In other words, neither the LCRB nor municipal staff have flagged any obvious issues with the application. Council’s vote was also unanimous with Coun. Terri O’Keeffe, a critic of previous applications, saying she is less concerned about this one.

‘This is a more suitable location,” she said.

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Only the LCRB can formally approve or deny applications for cannabis retail locations, but municipal processes can act as gate-keepers. As a staff report says, the municipality must gather the views of residents before recommending denial or issuance of a licence by the LCRB. Municipalities can also shape events even before applicants undergo an assessment as was the case in late December, when Sidney council withheld comment on what was the fourth application for a cannabis retail location in the community.

Stone and Seed was planning to open what would have been a second cannabis retail location on Beacon Avenue, little more than 100 metres away from the approved cannabis retail business formerly known as Happy Buddha (now operating as Truth and Alibi) and the proposed Buds Cannabis location. This fourth application would have also placed such a business within 90 metres of the Sidney Museum and “just around the corner,” according to staff, from another pending application from Jima Retail Corp. still undergoing its assessment.

Residents who want to comment on the Buds Cannabis application can submit their written statements or speak at a future special public participation period (which is not a public hearing). Owners and tenants of buildings within 100 metres (328 feet) of the location will receive notification by email while the owners must place a public notification in the storefront window of the proposed location for a period of not less than 14 days with advertisements also appearing in two consecutive issues in the Peninsula News Review.


 

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