This map shows the proposed location of the pot shop that the City of Victoria denied last week. If it had gone to public hearing and received approval, it would have been right at the border with Saanich.

Victoria denies potshop on Saanich border

Plans for a pot shop on Saanich’s border have gone up in smoke after Victoria denied proponents a public hearing.

The proposed shop would have been located on the corner of Tolmie Avenue and Quadra Street, and Saanich residents living within 100 metres of the proposed site would have received public hearing notices under Victoria’s procedures. Victoria staff had recommended a public hearing, because the applicant had met Victoria’s guidelines for pot shops.

“If the application had been moved through to public hearing, Saanich [council] may well have had additional interest as well as local residents,” said Megan Catalano, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich.

But since the application did not go forward, Saanich has declined to publicly comment on the issue. “Saanich staff don’t have a reaction on Victoria council’s decision,” said Catalano.

Saanich – contrary to Victoria – does not license pot shops. But if the application by G.S. Pharmaceuticals had gone forward and received approval, it would have been at least the fourth shop of its kind within the proximity of the Saanich-Victoria border.

While Victoria council ultimately denied the application on grounds of the proposed shop’s proximity to Quadra elementary school following a letter from its parents advisory council, at least one Victoria councillor suggested that its proximity to Saanich played a role.

“Have we talked to Saanich?” asked Coun. Chris Coleman in framing the issue as a question of neighbourliness. “Do we do that? It is an unusual item from that perspective.”

Victoria council also broadly agreed that Saanich should have received notification of the proposal had it gone forward, with the proviso that such a notification should not have included an invitation to respond.

Coun. Geoff Young said it would not be appropriate for Victoria to seek comment from Saanich.

“As a district, they have made a decision,” he said. “They are not supportive of our policy, and I think it is a little hypocritical for us to be asking for them to respond on an issue, when we are already aware of this contradiction.”

Three cannabis retailers currently operate within walking distance from Saanich’s border. Farmacy operates near the intersection of Hillside Avenue and Shelbourne Street, while Trees Dispensary operates near Tolmie Avenue and Douglas Street. Burnside Dispensary, meanwhile, operates at the intersection of Harriet Road and Burnside Road, with the Saanich border just steps away.

Catalano said Saanich neither sought nor offered input of any kind about the failed pot shop proposal, adding Victoria did not solicit input from Saanich as the application was working its way through. Victoria and Saanich have also not communicated about the Burnside Dispensary.

Catalano said Saanich recognizes that Victoria has taken a “different policy approach” to the regulation of marijuana retail.

“Because our municipalities border each other this means that at times there may be conflicting direction taken,” she said. “At this time Saanich awaits clear policy direction from the provincial government on marijuana retailing framework in B.C. leading up to legalization in the province.

Once the provincial government has supplied this framework, Saanich would implement a regulatory and policy framework that aligns with provincial direction and continues to best represent the interests of the residents of Saanich, she said.

Some of those answers have started to arrive, after the provincial government announced that both private and public retailers will sell maijuana, with anyone older than 19 years able to purchase it legally.

The federal government, meanwhile, has announced that the provinces stand to reap 75 per cent of marijuana revenues.

Just Posted

Victoria brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Vancouver Island Brewing said goodbye to its confusing hexagon logo

Johnson Street Bridge reopened after water main break

VicPD ask drivers to use alternate route on Nov. 12

Peninsula Singers use music to dispel ‘Grinch’ factor this Christmas

‘Tis the Season is at the Mary Winspear Centre Dec. 7 to 9

West Shore pays silent tribute to distant and recent losses during Remembrance Day ceremony

Premier John Horgan pays special tribute to Cst. Sarah Beckett

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh coming to Langford

MP MacGregor hosting open house at Belmont Secondary

Trudeau warns of dangers of nationalist leaders at historic armistice gathering

U.S. President Donald Trump in recent weeks described himself as a nationalist

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Politicians need to do better on social media, Trudeau says

Prime minister suggests at conference in Paris some are trying to use technology to polarize voters

Wally Buono exits CFL, stinging from painful playoff loss

B.C. Lions lost the Eastern semifinal to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday, 48-8

Pot company hopes to replace jobs lost in mill closure in B.C. town

About 200 workers lost their jobs when the Tolko sawmill in Merritt shuttered in 2016

Funding announcement promises to drive business innovation in B.C.

Minister is scheduled to make the announcement at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College

Remembrance Day ceremonies taking place across Greater Victoria

Most ceremonies start at 10:50 on Sunday, Nov. 11

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 9 to 11

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Most Read