The province of BC is looking to expand its growing cannabis market by adding two new government-owned cannabis shops in North Vancouver. According to the Liquor Distribution Branch, the government is looking to open up two new legal cannabis stores in Vancouver. They would be a part of a total of six stores that the provincial hopes to open up across North Vancouver. As of now, the government is on track to open these two stores soon.
North Shore News reported that these two government-owned pot shops would be very similar to the one already opened and established in Kamloops, BC.
Kamloops was the first city in the province, and so far the only one, with a legal government-owned pot shop. The store opened its doors on the first day of weed legalization in Canada on October 17, 2018.
These two new stores would be modelled after the Kamloops one. According to the Liquor Distribution Branch website, the stores would have a sleek and clean design. Kate Bilney, a spokeswoman with the Liquor Distribution Branch, told North Shore News that it would have similarities to that of an Apple store.
In these stores, customers would have access to what Bilney calls “sniff pods.” These are plastic jars that hold a little bit of the product within them. They allow customers to sample the product by smelling it. The rest of the store's inventory would be held in the back.
Right now, the exact locations for the two stores are already under consideration. One of the locations would include a 2,900 square foot facility on 12th Street and Lonsdale Avenue. The second shop would be located at Park & Tilford shopping centre on Brooksbank Avenue.
On April 9, 2019, the government hosted a public information meeting at the John Braithwaite Centre. During this meeting, four other store proposals were announced for North Vancouver.
According to North Shore News, these included one at 725 West 1st Street, The Herb Co. for a store on 1717 Lonsdale Avenue, Lonsdale Cannabis Co. for 315 Lonsdale Avenue, and 1st Cannabis for a location on 221 West 1st Street.
All store locations would need to go through a rezoning and public hearing process. This most likely will take place within the next two months. Before they can open, they also need to be issued a provincial license.
Since cannabis become legal on October 17th, 2018, only one government-owned shop and 17 private stores have opened up in BC. Nine more locations are listed as "coming soon" on the provincial website.