June 23rd, 2024

Nine hopeful pot stores await fate

By Collin Gallant on August 17, 2018.

Pattie Vivier, owner of Hemp Town Rock of S. Railway Street, says she's watching with interest as a city planning commission examines cannabis retail store applications, but feels the process to sell the substance is too complicated.--NEWS PHOTO COLLIN GALLANT


cgallant@medicinehatnews.com
@CollinGallant

Nine potential pot retailers in Medicine Hat are expected to appear at the city’s planning commission meeting next week in a bid to be operating when the substance is decriminalized on Oct. 17.

A federal move to regulate recreational use among adults has caused a rush of sorts — according to those in the industry — to be the first on the block, so to speak.

One longtime local cannabis advocate however, is pressing pause on a plan to convert her head shop on S. Railway Street until more is known about the industry and regulations are smoothed out.

Pattie Vivier has operated Hemp Town Rock for the past eight years, selling general merchandise, bongs and vapourizers, and clothing made from hemp — but not marijuana.

New provincial rules would bar the sale of clothing at locations where cannabis is sold. Cannabis is mandated to specialized, stand-alone locations.

Right now, she told the News, there are too many questions and the complicated process has offered too few answers.

“I’m still going ahead with licensing — I’m on the path — but I wouldn’t open until the new year,” said Vivier. “I don’t know how you can start a business when you don’t know what the product is worth, what you can sell it for, or what product you’re getting.

“All that needs to be answered.”

A list of nine applications in a first round of discretionary use hearings will be examined at the Aug. 22 meeting of the municipal planning commission, which convenes at 2:30 p.m. in council chambers at city hall.

Four are located in a two-block radius in the eastern edge of downtown. Two show addresses in the Southwest Light Industrial area, and one each are on Dunmore Road, Kingsway Avenue and the east end of S. Railway Street.

As many at 16 applications with local addresses appeared on a list posted by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission for potential objections by neighbours over the past six months.

The AGLC application process, which began this winter, requires licences to be compliant with local bylaws that in many cases hadn’t been written at that point.

Now, applicants have re-applied to the AGLC after Medicine Hat passed zoning rules last month. They also need development permits to further the provincial process, and to have locations upgraded to meet AGLC standards.

Redcliff mulls shop

Town planners in Redcliff have announced they will hold an open house for community members to learn about a proposal by Cana Cabana to open a cannabis retail store in that town’s light industrial district.

The company hopes to convert a bay at 631 S. Railway Dr. NE to sell cannabis, and will answer questions about the project at the German Canadian Harmony Hall on Aug. 29. The application will be heard at the town’s planning commission meeting Sept. 19.

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Pat
Pat
5 years ago

I thought they were going to keep the cannabis outlets away from children. One of them is planning to be right at the entrance to the bus terminal where lots of families switch busses everyday. I hope the City has the intelligence to say “NO” to that outlet site. There are lots of other vacant business spots. In case you didn’t read an earlier article, the Green Annex, which intends to locate at the entrance to the terminal is a potential cannabis outlet.