Updated: Jun 21, 2021
The City is considering a Rezoning application to allow for the use of Storefront Cannabis Retailer at 566‐568 Yates Street and remove the permitted use of Storefront Cannabis Retailer from 546 Yates Street.
Trees Dispensary at 546 Yates Street was the first cannabis retailer to be rezoned under the City of Victoria’s Storefront Cannabis Retailer Bylaw in April 2017. In August 2019, provincial enforcement officers (CSU) forcibly closed the location at 546 Yates Street for continuing to operate without provincial approvals. In the intervening time, the requisite legislation was established and we have seen a plethora of approved cannabis retailers opening and operating throughout the City, particularly concentrated in the Downtown Core. There are now three fully legal and provincially licensed cannabis operators within 400m of that location. Additionally, the proposed site at 566 Yates Street for Jima Cannabis does not comply with the 400m‐proximity requirement.
While existing Cannabis and Liquor outlets have on occasion been approved by Council to move locations that required rezoning for the new location and then rescinding of zoning at the old location, it should be noted that Jima Cannabis had no interest in the property at the previous location or did it obtain the original rezoning or Business License. This application fails to provide any justifiable rationale to transfer zoning from an unrelated site to an unrelated operator in violation of City proximity policy.