Fort St. John councillors will decide whether to approve the city's first private cannabis retail licence on Monday.
HIVE Cannabis meets the city's zoning rules and provincial regulations, according to city staff, which recommend council approve the application. There were no issues from city planners or fire and police, and there was no feedback submitted during a public comment period.
"If the local government chooses to make a recommendation to deny or reject the application, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch may not issue the licence," deputy city clerk Laura Howes notes in a report.
"If the local government makes a recommendation in favour of the application, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch has discretion whether or not to issue the licence but must consider the local government's recommendation."
HIVE Cannabis is looking to set up in the former office of the Northeast News on 100 Avenue, vacant since it closed in 2016.
It's led by Dr. Neil Rockerbie, a Victoria-based physician and addictions specialist who serves as a medical director at Clarity Cannabis MD Holdings.
According to a company biography, Rockerbie has been working in family practice since 1989, and manages the Westwind Medical Clinic. He's also practiced in the field of addiction medicine since 1992, and co-founded the Pandora Clinic, which specializes in opioid therapy.
“We know cannabis, we know our customers, and we know how cannabis fits into their lives," Rockerbie is quoted as saying in a biography provided to the city.
"Hive will operate as a trusted, independent link between Canada’s top Licensed Producers and the adult-use cannabis market.”
HIVE Cannabis is still subject to scrutiny by the province, including financial integrity checks and security screenings.
HIVE is one of three stores looking to enter the Fort St. John market so far.
The B.C. government has plans for a BC Cannabis store downtown.
Glory Cannabis Company is looking to open on 100 Street at the site of the former Mastaro Sushi and Wings and Things and Good Ole Dayz. The city has issued public notice seeking comment from nearby residents and businesses until Friday, January 4.
The company has already soft launched online and on social media, and bills itself as a family-owned and operated retailer based in Fort St. John.
The company is led by city residents Sheldon James and David Tran.
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