(File photo)

Second cannabis store passes Queen Charlotte test

Gwaii Ganja will now go through the provincial permitting process

A second recreational cannabis shop hopes to soon be doing business in the Village of Queen Charlotte.

If successful Gwaii Ganja, owned by Edgelow Capital Investments, will set up shop at the Causeway building next door to the Dollar Store.

The village received a referral for the business from the province’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch on March 25. Council offered no objections following a public input process initiated April 8.

During that process the village received one letter in support and six against. Letters from two organizations expressed no position on the matter.

READ MORE: Masset seeks input on future marijuana businesses

Concerns partly focused on potential of cannabis exposure to children and youth, who frequent neighbouring stores, and the potential for traffic and parking congestion. But the largest concern centred on whether two cannabis retail stores can be successful in such a small market.

Bernie Howlett, co-owner of the Misty Harbour Inn and Howlers Liquor Store, is currently in the licencing process to open The Rural Leaf in the Howler’s building one block away at 3200 Oceanview Drive. Last March council gave the province its support for the application.

Despite residents’ worry two recreational cannabis outlets will harm the viability of either business, the village’s lawyer said it’s not a legal reason to deny an applicant. The only option is to limit the number of shops by amending its zoning bylaw, a move that council rejected.

“If this retail shop gets a provincial licence, the Village does not have the authority to reject any required municipal permits/approvals on the basis there is no market for a second shop,” the letter reads.

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