City approves cannabis store; nearby churches, property owner opposed

Dawson Creek city council gave their approval for a non-medical recreational cannabis retail outlet to be located at 103 Ave downtown to be called Flora Recreational Cannabis.

This is the fourth such application the City has approved.

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Complaints were received from a property owner near the location, as well as the Dawson Creek Catholic Social Services Society and The Anglican Parish of the South Peace which are located right close.

Property value was a concern raised by Weeber Rentals president Debbie Fynn who leases space to organizations that she says will be negatively affected, as was the closeness to church services, such as food banks and employment services, that involve families and those struggling with mental health and addiction.

“We feel this may deter people from utilizing these services and detract from serious nature of the business located in the building,” says Debbie Fynn.

“We further feel that finding a new tenant, should our current tenant relocate or no longer provide services out of our building, will be difficult for us due to the close proximity to our building.”

“Our services in the community have typically been funded through government contracts, which themselves have requirements, one of which has been not to have locations near such businesses as liquor stores,” says Laurie Patterson with the DCCSS.

“Permitting a cannabis retail store in the vicinity of a church, particularly one that provides soup kitchen and food bank services, may negatively affect some members of the community; however, a buffer zone was not designated around places of worship in the Zoning Bylaw,” notes Deputy Corporate Officer Cindy Fisher in the report recommending approval.

Council passed the motion unanimously.

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