It is relatively simple to set up a cannabis retail shop in the Cowichan Valley Regional District if you are proposing to have one in a light industrial zone.
Keith Batstone is a planning coordinator with the CVRD and explains how an application for that kind of shop in a light industrial zone would roll out.
“The CVRD involvement is very much like a liquor store operation where the province asks us for our endorsement of the application that’s being considered at the provincial level. We, as staff, summarize the issue and confirm that zoning is in place and ask the Board to endorse the application which we then forward to the liquor and cannabis regulation branch.”
There is one such retail shop greenlighted on Allenby Road.
Batstone said they have two applications from proponents who want to open a shop in locations other than those zoned light industrial and that gets a little tricker, but it’s doable.
He said it involves rezoning which includes consultations with the community.
The approach is different than Duncan’s which is going the RFP route and requires proponents to apply for a temporary use permit.
North Cowichan allows retail cannabis in existing commercial zones but there are some stipulations with regards to how far the shops are from each other as well as from playgrounds, schools and recreation centres.