Castlegar City council voted in favour of three non-medical cannabis retail store applications on Monday. Some concerns were raised by Councillor Maria McFaddin regarding the proposal for the old Arby’s location at  620 17 Street.

“My concern is the location. The whole dance studio is underneath Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen is a hot spot for teenagers and kids, there’s a bus stop right there, there’s church behind it. I just think with all the open locations in town, that’s just not the ideal spot for a non-medical cannabis store.”

She adds those groups shouldn’t have “access in their face about it.” Councillor McFaddin voted against the application, but in favour of the other two which are at 102-2023 and 114-1502 Columbia Avenue.

Councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff was in favour of all three, as was the rest of council.

“As long as they’re following  Provincial and Federal regulatory laws, we don’t have much say in it, so from their applications they’re doing everything right.”

Four written comments were received during the public comment period for those within 50 meters of the proposed locations; it came to an end on December 27. Regarding the 17 Street store, three letters were received that expressed concern with the nearby school bus stop, dance studios and karate club. Another comment stated that society isn’t ready for the cultural shift. The City says there was also a concern raised in general about the hours of operation for the stores which would be until 11:00PM.

Now that council has OK’d the applications, the Province still has to grant its final approval taking into account public feedback and council’s decision. It’s not known how soon they may be open.