It’s a first of what could be more cannabis retail stores in Delta.

Council on Monday unanimously approved an application by Seed & Stone to open a private cannabis dispensary at 616 Chester Road, located on Annacis Island.

It will be in close proximity to the Highway 91 Interchange.

“I am thankful and appreciative of Mayor Harvie, council and the community of Delta for giving us the opportunity to bring Seed and Stone to Delta. We strive to educate and ensure our customers are getting the best product at a value based price point. Community is at the heart of everything Seed and Stone does. We are committed to creating an environment in our stores that entices our patrons to discover the Journey within,” said Vikram Sachdeva, company founder and CEO.

Sachdeva noted their goal is to serve the community and demonstrate the value of legal cannabis outlets, adding the new store will be ideally located to serve Delta but will be also close to the Surrey and Richmond markets.

Both those cities continue to exercise their zoning authority to maintain bans on legal cannabis stores including those run by the B.C. government.

The Delta store operation will be located within a 3,638-square-foot portion of an existing multi-tenant industrial building and the retail portion will be in a 1,001-square-foot storefront.

Seed and Stone, a non-medical cannabis retail brand, currently operates a store in Chilliwack and Victoria and is expanding to White Rock and elsewhere in B.C.

The owner has over 20 years of experience in retail including managing liquor stores and therefore complying with provincial regulations and the province’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation licence requirements, a report to council notes.

The store will be required to purchase cannabis products directly from the provincial government's distribution branch and would be solely operated as a cannabis dispensary with no cultivation, processing or manufacturing.

“The experience is there. The know-how is there. The responsibility is there. Our customer base is very vast including seniors, and community is at the heart of everything we do,” added Sachdeva.

Prior to the legalization of cannabis in Canada in 2018, Delta council passed a bylaw prohibiting cannabis stores in all zones, but kept the door open to consider them on a case-by-case basis.

The idea was to restrict any potential new businesses to industrial zones.

A council report notes that to be granted a licence by the province, a proposal must be supported by the host local government.

Many municipalities have regulated the location of dispensaries by setting location criteria either through policies or zoning bylaw amendments.

The intent of the criteria is to buffer dispensaries from sensitive uses such as schools, parks and recreation centres, while some local governments add an additional buffer between dispensaries to prevent clustering.

Delta council on Monday agreed legal stores have shown to be well-regulated, safe and important in steering people away from the illegal market.

Council also agreed other location options may be considered but each application would still only be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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