PRRD rejects proposed Charlie Lake cannabis store

The Peace River Regional District has rejected plans for a proposed cannabis store in Charlie Lake.

Directors voted Jan. 23 against zoning amendments that would have allowed for a shop to open on the frontage road next to the Charlie Lake general store.

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The only concerns were registered by School District 60, which opposed the amendments citing the health and safety of nearby students at Charlie Lake elementary.

No concerns or objections were raised by the fire department, Fort St. John, or the ministry of transportation.

Cannabis-related businesses are prohibited in all regional district zoning.

The proponent John Hynes had intended to apply for a provincial retail licence if the amendments were approved. He wrote in a letter to the board that the location was already “one-stop-shop” for Charlie Lake residents and Alaska Highway motorists looking to buy groceries and fuel from the general store.

He expected foot traffic from the school to be minimal, noting adults are present when children are in the general store, which also sells liquor. That store is well-staffed, well-trained, and well-secured, he said.

“The existing building on the property is the ideal setting for a retail cannabis store as it will allow us the protection of a well known and heavy trafficked business rather than in a potentially isolated location," Hynes wrote.

“We know that we are the first to explore this option with the District and understand the hesitation to open this market; however, the market is expanding and it will be coming to our community.”

Email reporter Tom Summer at reporter@ahnfsj.ca.

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