After the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) withdrew an application for a BC Cannabis Store in Gibsons in the wake of concerns raised at a public open house, the shíshálh Nation’s business arm, Tsain-Ko Development Corporation, has confirmed a BC Cannabis location as part of the next phase of the Tsain-Ko Centre.
The LDB listed “Sechelt” among 21 new locations approved by local governments in a July 31 press release, but gave no other details.
Tsain-Ko economic development officer Jason Jenkins told Coast Reporter this week that the BC Cannabis Store is one of three new tenants coming to the mall; the others are Shoppers Drug Mart and Lordco Auto Parts.
The District of Sechelt was one of several municipalities contacted by the LDB in November of 2018 with information on BC Cannabis Stores and an offer to meet “to discuss the possibility of locating a government operated cannabis retail store(s) in your community,” but the agency never made a formal application for a location in the District of Sechelt.
With confirmation of the Tsain-Ko store, such an application is now unlikely.
Meanwhile, another local cannabis business has chosen to close its doors rather than go through the provincial licensing process.
In a notice copied to Coast Reporter, the owners of Rainforest Compassion Club in Gibsons said they would be closing effective Sept. 28.
“We’ve dedicated five years to promoting cannabis as a first-choice medicine. Doctors, pharmacists and psychiatrists have now heard impressive testimonials from our clients. Cannabis is safe, effective medicine – the best treatment for dozens of medical conditions when used properly,” said the notice.
Rainforest was one of the cannabis sellers operating in Gibsons under temporary use permits from the Town on the condition that they apply for a provincial retail licence.
Weeds in Sechelt, part of a chain of cannabis stores based in Vancouver, recently closed as well, leaving a sign posted on the door that reads, “Closed permanently thanks to our NDP government (Don’t forget to vote).” Weeds has also closed some locations in Vancouver.
Only one local cannabis shop, Coastal Bay Cannabis in Gibsons, has received a provincial licence. Its owners chose to close temporarily earlier this summer after the Community Safety Unit, the agency charged with enforcing cannabis sales regulations in B.C., visited retailers on the Coast.