Pubdate: Tue, 04 Jul 2017
Source: Penticton Herald (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: Amanda Short
Page: A1


Two cannabis dispensaries in Penticton may lose permission to operate
if council today follows through on a staff recommendation to deny
extensions of their temporary use permits.

Okanagan Cannabinoid Therapy on Westminster and Green Essence on
Martin were the first and only pot shops in the city to be granted
TUPs in December, but those expired June 30.

Now, with a letter from police clarifying their stance on the issue
and two recent court cases in Abbotsford that shut down dispensaries
there, plus a zoning bylaw that prohibits such businesses, city staff
is recommending council pull the plug on the experiment.

"The hope is that the two businesses will amend their business models
towards advocacy and retail sales of non-cannabis product, until such
time as the federal and provincial governments legalize the sale and
distribution of marijuana," concludes planning manager Blake Laven's
report to council.

In a letter, Kevin Adams of Okanagan Cannaboid Therapy said his
business provides a valuable service to members of the community and
has upheld a standard of professionalism since receiving the TUP.

"Granting us an extension would provide relief to many who are finding
cannabis works for their ailments," said a second letter from Melissa
Osiowy of Green Essence.

"We have seen a huge spike in seniors that come through our door
looking for an alternative to opioids."

Also before council today is a proposed mixed-use building on Front
Street that would occupy the former home of Slack Alice's.

The $10-million project would be four storeys on Front Street and five
along its back lane, including office space and residential apartments.

The building would provide eight parking spots on site and a
co-operative vehicle as a substitute for six more stalls.

"The reduction in parking will put a further strain on parking in the
downtown," senior city planner Audrey Tanguay wrote in her report to

"Staff, however, feel that requiring increased parking at the ground
level will detract from the design of the building." The letter adds
that a larger parking strategy for downtown is currently in progress.

Tanguay recommends that bylaw amendment and others be sent to a public
hearing July 18.

The committee of the whole, which precedes the regular council meeting
at 1 p.m., is expected to hear a presentation from Penticton Citizens
First members Helen Trevors and Elvena Slump asking for amendments to
the civic election system to increase public transparency.

Beginning at 6 p.m., council will deal with a handful of public
hearings, including proposals to subdivide 218 Norton St. into two
lots and construct a side-by-side duplex, and others to construct a
4-unit town house at 102 Cossar Ave. and rezone 602 and 640 Eckhardt
Ave. W. to allow for a four-storey, 95-room hotel.

Meetings are in chambers and open to the public.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt