A second non-medical cannabis store in the City of Langford has been approved by city council as of Monday.
The Original Farm Langford Ltd. has been issued a temporary use permit to set up a retail store in the Belmont Market development. The store will be directly below the new Crossing at Belmont rental apartments on Reunion Avenue.
Council has capped the number of stores allowed to open in Langford at five, meaning three more are waiting for provincial approvals.
“It’s legal now, it has been since October, we’re just going to regulate it,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “We’re going to make sure it doesn’t end up on every street corner.”
The Belmont Market development is designed with the idea that residents can live and shop in the same place. Young said it will be like its own small community inside of Langford.
The new cannabis store will be treated like a liquor store, as a legal product.
Young said the City is working with the stores to ensure community liaison officers are available because the federal government has not supplied Langford with any funding to help with cannabis regulation yet.
The stores have offered to help fund two officers to help with education around cannabis, especially in schools.
He said without the agreement between the City and the stores, taxpayers in Langford would be paying to help manage and regulate cannabis.
“I’ve got zero dollars from the federal government…there’s no cash cow in this thing,” Young said. “We had to manage this ourselves and we’ve got agreements with every store.”
The partnership between the City and the stores is to help ensure an influx of cannabis stores will not take on a negative impact to the community.
Young said now that the two stores have been approved, it’s up to them get up and running. He said they’ll likely be ready to open in two to three months.
The City of Langford has its own guidelines for what makes an acceptable location for a non-medical cannabis retail store. The guidelines state how far a store should be from places like schools, parks, day cares, lakes and residential areas excluding the ones in the City Centre.
The proposed location for The Original Farm Langford Ltd. is about 2,200 metres away from the closest school — Belmont Secondary School — and is 1,500 metres away from City Centre Park. The closest daycare is about 159 metres away and access to Glen Lake is about 1,200 metres away. It is also about 1,800 metres away from Clarity Cannabis, the first recreational cannabis retailer that was approved in Langford in March.
Eric Gerlach, the owner agent for the rental apartments that will be above the store as well as Belmont Residences West and East in the Belmont Market, also has some stipulations that need to be taken into consideration by The Original Farm Langford Ltd.
There will be zero visibility of cannabis retail activity along Reunion Avenue, where the buildings are located, and commercial activity will be limited to receiving deliveries of packaged goods only.
“As the developer of all the condominium projects along Reunion Avenue, it is reasonable to expect that any new condo purchaser who may or may not object to this new commercial use, should not see potentially controversial storefront/signange directly from their living room,” a letter from Gerlach to council reads.
The storefront will be screened and displaying “ideally a ‘nature’ scene, or something to thematically tie into the residential feature wall,” the letter reads.
There will also be no commercial signange for non-medical cannabis along Reunion Avenue.
Young said so far, people in Langford are supportive of retail cannabis stores opening in the city.
“We are happy with the contributions that we’ve got and we’re approving these things,” Young said.