Vikram Sachdeva, founder and CEO of Seed and Stone, is disappointed with council’s refusal to refer his company’s application to the LCRB. (Stone and Seed/Submitted)

Vikram Sachdeva, founder and CEO of Seed and Stone, is disappointed with council’s refusal to refer his company’s application to the LCRB. (Stone and Seed/Submitted)

Sidney council refuses to comment on fourth pot store application, effectively denying it

Council also tells LCRB it won’t comment on new applications until pending applications are processed

More applications for recreational cannabis stores in Sidney will not considered until all pending applications have been processed.

Council unanimously authorized staff on Monday to tell the Liquor Control and Regulation Branch (LCRB) that the municipality will not comment on future applications until the LCRB has processed two outstanding applications.

The decision came after council (with Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith and Coun. Peter Wainwright in opposition) voted to withold comment on an application from Stone and Seed 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” from another pending application from Jima Retail Corp. still undergoing its assessment.

The municipality’s liquor and cannabis licensing policy says council will consider the impact of cannabis retailers when they are located within 100 metres (328 feet) of 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 facilities.”

RELATED: Sidney signals support for additional cannabis stores on Beacon Avenue

RELATED:Sidney council signals support for recreational cannabis store

RELATED:Sidney entrepreneurs drop Buddha from name of proposed cannabis shop

With this policy, the municipality reflects language from Island Health, which recommends a minimum separation of 300 metres between retail outlets. Sidney’s radius of 100 metres represents its own “minimum” threshold.

A central question during the discussion was whether the LCRB had informed the applicants that it would have been the fourth application.

Coun. Sara Duncan noted that even if somehow they had started this application without having been aware of the other applications through public records, “surely, if they were doing their market research on what type of town this was and what the market might be, they would have come across many news articles about cannabis in this town,” she said.

Even if council had deferred this application until the LCRB had processed the other pending applications and even if the other applications had not gone through, “the second store cannot in good faith go on Beacon Avenue,” said Duncan.

McNeil-Smith urged patience, arguing that council’s refusal would deny the application without the LCRB having completed its assessment of the other applications.

Vikram Sachdeva, founder and CEO of Seed and Stone, expressed disappointment but also acceptance of council’s decision.

“I wanted them to give us an opportunity to showcase that, ‘yes, we can get a fit and proper assessment,’” he said, pointing to the company’s track record in running stores elsewhere in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley as well as his previous entrepreneurial credentials as operator of several fast-food franchises.

“We’ll see if there are other options for us in that community,” he said. “If not, we are looking forward to opening more stores in Victoria,” he said.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Victoria parks staffer turns compost made from organics collected in the parks. Piles of this steaming, nutrient-rich stuff will be handed out between April 12-18. (Zoë Ducklow/News Staff)
Victoria shovels free home-made compost out to gardeners

Ideal for prepping food gardens, the compost, mulch and wood chips will be at city parks for pick up

New programs and services aimed at helping the unhoused find shelter or housing in Victoria, and to take advantage of support services of various kinds, could be funded if a City of Victoria grant application is successful. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria seeks $3M to $4M in grant funds to enhance community services for unhoused population

Various supports, services for unhoused population part of broad-based funding application

Victoria Police Department seized a replica firearm during an early morning call to the 100-block of Gorge Road East on April 11. (VicPD handout)
Victoria police seize replica firearm in early Sunday morning call

Officers called to temporary housing facility in 100-block of Gorge Road East

Road improvements in Sooke are nearing completion . (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
Sooke road work nears completion

Projects part of $5.7 million in improvements

Vaisakhi normally would have volunteers like these women (in Surrey from a past year) preparing food ahead of the festival to be given out to the hundreds of thousands of spectactors. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria Sikhs observe Vaisakhi virtually, but find a way to give out food

Food and taking care of those in need is a big part of Sikh teachings

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

Most Read