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

New quartet of Saanich councillors queue up for new role

Nathalie Chambers, Rebecca Mersereau, Ned Taylor and Zac de Vries join four incumbents

Incumbent Saanich councillors look forward to working with fresh faces

Re-elected Coun. Judy Brownoff said voters elected a healthy mix for next four years in Saanich

Rotating Canada Post strikes begin in Victoria

Monday’s mail will be delayed one day due to strike

What to pack in an emergency-preparedness kit for earthquakes

Several earthquakes of Vancouver Island’s West Coast have people wondering how to be ready

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell says mayor-elect Haynes has been campaigning for four years

Atwell calls time in mayor’s office a “struggle” in saying he was only vote on council

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read