Port Coquitlam’s second pot shop opens tomorrow (Thursday) but the two planned government cannabis stores won't open until next year.
burb, the private cannabis retailer that launched its flagship store at Mary Hill Bypass and Broadway Street late last month, will sell its products in its “express” outlet at PoCo Place mall.
“Given the proximity to Coquitlam, we anticipate this shop to be extremely busy given Coquitlam does not have any legal cannabis retail,” co-founder and CFO Steve Dowsley told The Tri-City News, adding that he expects the shop to have up to 500 transactions a day.
burb's "express" outlet at PoCo Place mall.
It's a different story for the PoCo public cannabis stores.
Yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, PoCo’s committee of council voted to hold a second public hearing for the proposed BC Cannabis Store at 985 Nicola Ave., in the Dominion Triangle.
In July, when council approved the BC Cannabis Store for 1971 Lougheed Hwy., in the same strip mall as No Frills, it held back the Nicola application over concerns about the size of the proposed outlet.
PoCo planning analyst Graeme Muir told the committee Tuesday that the 6,000-sq. ft. store, near Home Depot, will be used for retail (2,664 sq. ft.) as well as for storage (1,910 sq. ft.) and for training/administration (1,437 sq. ft.).
The training is to educate BC Cannabis Store employees across the province, he said.
Mayor Brad West said he wanted the floor plan for the Nicola store to be tied to the zoning change to prevent a conversion to a larger retail layout.
But Coun. Darrell Penner suggested council shouldn’t be placing retail limits on businesses; he and Coun. Laura Dupont opposed West’s motion, which passed with a majority. The public hearing on the Nicola application is due to come before council next month.
Meanwhile, West also voiced his “disappointment” about the length of time the provincial government is taking to develop policy around municipal revenue sharing of cannabis retail sales.
West said PoCo council voted to approve two BC Cannabis Stores because of the unionized jobs, public education around marijuana use and a potential kickback to the city for hosting public pot shops — much like the province does with casinos.
“It’s been something they have been promising for some time,” West said of the provincial government’s revenue sharing program for cannabis retail.
Meanwhile, burb is also one of four companies whose applications for cannabis shops in Port Moody will move forward.
Last night (Tuesday), PoMo city council voted to extend the deadline for its first batch of bids from Sept. 30 to Oct. 15.
As of Sept. 30, city staff had received three proposals from:
• burb (1-101 Morrissey Rd, in Suter Brook);
• Westcanna (aka New Elite Investment Inc.) (3034 St. Johns St.);
• and City Cannabis Corp. (3030 St. Johns St.).
The latter is currently under review by the province as the company had to reapply for “fit and proper” screening due to an ownership change, city staff told council.
But, with the deadline now bumped to Oct. 15, two more proposals are included in the first round, city staff told The Tri-City News.
• Stellava Ventures (2506 St. Johns St.);
• and Aura Cannabis (2816 St. Johns St.).
The “fit and proper” assessments are being conducted as per Port Moody’s corporate policy to determine if they are viable businesses, city staff said; that review is by a separate provincial ministry from the LCRB.
A public hearing on the four site-specific rezonings is expected to be held next month.
Dowsley said the Port Moody burb store — if approved — would have the same floor plan as its PoCo Place mall “express” outlet and said, “We've added some additional merchandising display units to the Port Moody store in anticipation of Cannabis 2.0 for edibles, concentrates, beverages and topicals."
As in PoCo, burb plans to provide an annual scholarship to a Port Moody graduating student and offer a $5,0000 charitable donation each year to the Port Moody Foundation, Dowsley said.
There are as yet no pot shops in Coquitlam and cannabis retail is listed as a low priority on the city's 2020 draft business plan.