The last of nine cannabis dispensary proposals allowed before council put a moratorium on new applications is headed to public hearing.
On Monday (Nov. 28), Delta council gave first and second reading to an application to open to allow a cannabis store to operate within a unit of an existing industrial building at 77550 River Road in Tilbury.
The dispensary, to operated by 1264201 BC Ltd. under the business name 4Twenty Cannabis, would include a 75-square-metre (807 sq. ft.) retail storefront and 112-square-metre (1 ,206 sq. ft.) warehouse on the main floor, plus a 75-square-metre (807 sq. ft.) office located within the existing mezzanine.
The business is proposed to be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and would only sell cannabis — other products would be prohibited. There would be no cultivation, processing or manufacturing of cannabis products onsite.
A staff report to council notes 1264201 BC Ltd. has experience complying with Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) licensing requirements and the non-medical cannabis retail brand 4Twenty Cannabis has another store in Vancouver, with further plans to expand throughout the province.
So far the city has received feedback on the proposal from two neighbouring businesses — one asking for more information regarding the potential for increased crime, and another strongly opposed to the proposal over concerns relating to smell, noise, crime and safety, lack of parking, increased traffic, loss of property value, decline in business and the potential of losing long-term staff.
In response to some of those concerns, the report notes that products are sealed and cannot be opened on site and the applicant has committed to implementing crime prevention enhancements to further reduce the potential for crime in the area, including a $15,000 security deposit until those upgrades are complete.
“Taking these factors into account, the Community Planning and Development Department and Delta Police do not have concerns with the proposed cannabis dispensary,” the report states.
The report also notes that the proposed dispensary received no objections from the building’s strata council when discussed during a meeting this past May, and the Delta Fire Department does not have any concerns with the proposal other than adding “No Parking” signage along the building’s eastern face to ensure adequate access in case of emergency — which the applicant has agreed to install.
Changes to the city’s zoning bylaw made in 2018 prohibit cannabis dispensaries in all zones, which means all applications must be approved by council on a case-by-case basis. The lack of local policy or bylaws governing dispensaries, however, also means Delta staff have use other cities’ regulations as a guide when evaluating new proposals.
As the dispensary would be the only one in the Tilbury, a largely industrial area, city staff found the proposed location “far exceeds the buffer between dispensaries exhibited in other municipalities, as well as the recommended proximity to sensitive uses including schools, community centres and parks.”
The Tilbury application is last of nine cannabis store applications received by the city before council adopted a moratorium on new proposals. The other eight have all been approved over the past 12 months.
The first cannabis store in Delta (Seed & Stone, located at 616 Chester Rd. on Annacis Island) was approved in November of last year, followed in January of 2022 by an Inspired Cannabis location at Delta Shoppers Mall (120 – 8077 Scott Rd.).
A third application, this time for a government-run BC Cannabis Store in Scottsdale Centre, was approved by council on April 25.
On May 16, council directed staff to not accept more cannabis dispensary applications “until further notice” while those still in stream make their way through the approval process.
Later that month, council approved two stores in Tsawwassen: Imagine Cannabis at 100 – 1179 56th St., and Queensborough Cannabis at 1274 56th St.
Then, on July 4, council gave the go-ahead to an Imagine Cannabis location in Ladner (5150 Ladner Trunk Rd.).
Two North Delta stores were approved on July 25: a Queensborough Cannabis in Scott 72 shopping centre (7227 Scott Rd.) and Kushi Cannabis Co., attached to the Tidewaters Pub and Liquor Store (10190 River Rd.).
Of the eight cannabis stores approved so far, only four are currently open for business: Seed & Stone on Annacis Island, Inspired Cannabis in North Delta, and both Imagine Cannabis locations (Tsawwassen and Ladner).