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Two more cannabis stores approved for North Delta

Eight cannabis stores have been approved in Delta in as many months, four of them in North Delta
On Monday, July 25, Delta council approved two applications to open cannabis stores in North Delta, one at one at Scott 72 shopping centre (pictured, 7227 Scott Rd.) to be operated by Queensborough Cannabis Co. and another attached to the Tidewaters Pub and Liquor Store at 10190 River Rd. under the business name Kushi Cannabis Co. (James Smith photo)

Delta council signed off on two more cannabis dispensaries last week, for a total of eight approved in the last eight months.

Both stores approved on July 25 are in North Delta: one at Scott 72 shopping centre (7227 Scott Rd.) to be operated by Queensborough Cannabis Co., and another attached to the Tidewaters Pub and Liquor Store at 10190 River Rd. under the business name Kushi Cannabis Co.

Coun. Lois Jackson was the lone vote against the Scott Road store, citing public opposition to the dispensary’s location.

“I am concerned that there are a lot of people out there — and it came forward at the public hearing — that would prefer that these locations be away from shopping centres where there is an abundance of young children and should be possibly on the periphery of the community, and I do support the folks that have that concern,” Jackson said.

Only one person spoke against the application at the public hearing on June 7: Surrey resident Parminder Kaur, who voiced concern over the location’s proximity to schools and other establishments frequented by youth. Four of seven letters to council opposed to or concerned with the application raised similar concerns (one of those was from Kaur).

Meanwhile, one person spoke in support of the application, as did five letter writers.

As of second reading on May 16, 10 people had weighed-in on the proposal, all of whom were opposed. Several of those respondents were also concerned about the store’s proximity to residential neighbourhoods and schools.

A staff report to council at the time noted the proposed store’s location is 433 metres away from Kabaddi Park in Surrey, 675 metres from Cory Drive Park in Delta, 667 metres from the nearest Surrey elementary school, 850 metres from the nearest Delta elementary school and 1,086 metres from the nearest Delta secondary school. The Delta School District also reviewed the application and said the location is “a fairly large distance from their nearest school.”

The City of Delta does not have location guidelines for cannabis dispensaries, however staff noted the proposed location generally meets or exceeds the average requirements of other local governments with respect to the proximity to schools and parks. The location is, however, only 358 metres away from the nearest cannabis store (a BC Cannabis Store approved April 25), less than the one kilometre required by other municipalities.

The River Road store, meanwhile, was approved unanimously by council, with Jackson calling the location “far superior to what we’ve seen at the shopping centre on 120th.”

At public hearing on June 7, council heard three people speak in support of the application and received four letters — three opposed and one in support.

Writers opposed expressed concerns over crime, smoking in the store’s parking lot and on the adjacent river bank, noise, vandalism, and the store’s location in a residential neighbourhood near park land.

The city had previously received 15 responses to a public notification letter sent on Feb. 9: 14 opposed and one in support.

Concerns raised include crime and safety, increased traffic, littering and drug paraphernalia, and the location’s proximity to a residential neighbourhood, schools and parks. Respondents were also concerned that people would go to the nearby parks and trails to smoke.

The one person who wrote in support was pleased there would be a cannabis dispensary located near a liquor store and within walking distance.

A staff report to council before second reading noted the applicant had also canvassed customers at the Tidewaters Liquor Store to determine if the dispensary was in demand and supported, ultimately collecting 51 letters of support between Feb. 10 and 19, all from people in North Delta.

The report stated the site is separated from the residential neighbourhood to the east by a Canadian National rail line, while to the west are mostly industrial properties. To the north is River Road, a heritage interpretive site and the Fraser River.

The proposed store would be 82 metres away from the St. Mungo Interpretive Site and Musqueam Winter Village Trail, which the report notes is used recreationally by the public, 1,289 metres from the nearest elementary school and 1,350 metres from the nearest secondary school. The location is also adjacent to a trail that connects under Highway 91 to the Delta Nature Reserve Park.

The nearest approved cannabis retail store is located across the Fraser River on Annacis Island, while the next closest is located on Scott Road, over 3.5 kilometres away.

The two stores are the seventh and eighth to be approved in the city. All have been approved within the past eight months, though the applications were all received between September 2020 and November 2021.

The first cannabis store in Delta (Seed & Stone, located at 616 Chester Rd. on Annacis Island) was approved in November of last year, followed in January by an Inspired Cannabis location at Delta Shoppers Mall next door to JYSK (120 – 8077 Scott Rd.). Both stores are currently open the public.

A third application, this time for a government-run BC Cannabis Store in Scottsdale Centre, was approved by council on April 25.

On May 16, council directed staff to not accept more cannabis dispensary applications “until further notice” while the six in stream make their way through the approval process.

Five of those have been since been approved. In addition to the two North Delta stores approved last week, council has given the go-ahead to two dispensaries in Tsawwassen (an Inspired Cannabis at 100 – 1179 56th St. and a Queensborough Cannabis store at 1274 56th St.) as well as an Inspired Cannabis location in Ladner (5150 Ladner Trunk Rd.).

One final application, received by the city on Dec. 16, 2021, is still under review by staff and has not yet made its way to council. That application is for a store at 14 – 7550 River Road in Tilbury to be operated by 4Twenty Cannabis.

SEE ALSO: Cannabis companies call on feds to increase edible THC limits to curb Canada’s illicit market

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James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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