Downtown eyed for pot shops

Two purveyors of recreational cannabis want to set up shop in the city's downtown.

Hearings will be held during Monday night's city council meeting for applications to open stores at 421 George St. and 1389 Third Ave.

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Staff is recommending council support their applications to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch for licences to sell non-medical cannabis but with the proviso they operate under temporary use permits to give the city time to assess their impacts on the downtown before deciding whether to permanently rezone the properties for the use.

Temporary use permits can last for up to three years, with a subsequent renewal for a further three years.

Grasshopper Retail Inc. is behind the application for 421 George St. and that property is owned by Commonwealth Campus Corp. and Nasser Kamani of NK Botanicals Ltd. is the applicant for 1289 Third Ave. His Kamani Holdings Ltd. owns the property.

Grasshopper's application includes letters of support from 11 surrounding businesses and one letter of opposition while Kamani's has drawn three letters in opposition.

They are the first applications for privately-run cannabis stores to go before council.

A B.C. Cannabis Store application to open an outlet at Pine Centre Mall is up for final reading on Monday and one to establish a store t the Westgate Shopping Centre has been adopted.

Also on the agenda:

- The Prince George Tennis Club will make a presentation seeking $45,000 from the city to install six pickleball courts.

- A hearing will be held for an application to increase the size of a shop to store vehicles and equipment planned for 2860 Gogolin Rd.

Four neighbours have signed a letter in support but staff is recommending council deny the application, saying the scale and size is excessive and is not keeping with the form and character of the surrounding neighbourhood.

- Plans to protect the city from wildfires and reduce conflicts with bears will be presented to council.

- A bylaw that would give bylaw enforcement officers authority to issue fines of $2,000 to $10,000 for mishandling contaminated soils will be up for three readings.

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