The prospect of a pot shop set up on Cowichan Tribes land has been called a “game-changer.”

A licence to run a Costa Canna cannabis store is expected to be granted to Cowichan Tribes in the week of April 15 and Tribes Chief William Seymour has indicated that this decision was difficult when considering the history of substance abuse and addiction.

The store would be located next to the liquor store at the Village Green Mall and Seymour said council passed this motion contingent on measures to ensure health and wellness.

“The only way I can agree to something like this is if there is health and wellness involved in opening up the stores,” said Seymour. “That means, ensuring that people are trained to know which is good for what ailment, that kind of thing. Counsellors would be made available.”

While there are a handful of pot shop applications in the queue at North Cowichan, Cowichan Tribes is expecting licence approval in the week of April 15.

The local First Nations group isn’t subject to North Cowichan, Duncan or CVRD approval because this store would be on reserve land and Cowichan Tribes is expecting to operate a cannabis store next to the liquor store in Village Green Mall.

The anticipated revenue generated from this pot shop in its first year is more than one million dollars and Seymour said he’s hopeful that money can be used to address a housing shortage on reserve land.

“We’re hoping revenue that’s going to be generated from these sales is going to assist us in trying to solve our housing problems, that’s where I would like to go with this,” said Seymour.

Cowichan Tribes also has an pot shop application in with North Cowichan and, if approved, it would be in the Cowichan Commons area.

Initially, the province would be the supplier but, Tribes is moving to become micro-cultivators, or capable of growing their own pot, essentially supplying their own cannabis.