Delta is finally getting its first dispensary, three years after cannabis became legal in Canada.
On Monday (Nov. 22), council gave final reading to a proposed cannabis dispensary at 616 Chester Road on Annacis Island, a 0.8 hectare industrial property just off Highway 91. The dispensary will operate in one part of the building, taking up 93 square metres (1,001 sq. ft.) of retail storefront and 245 square metres (2,637 sq. ft.) of warehouse space, as well as 97 square metres (1,044 sq. ft.) of mezzanine office space.
The dispensary will be operated by Seed & Stone, a non-medical cannabis retail brand which currently operates one store in Chilliwack, two in Victoria and another yet-to-open location on White Rock’s Marine Drive. A staff report notes the owner, Vickram Sachdeva, has over 20 years of experience in retail, including managing liquor stores and therefore complying with provincial regulations and licence requirements.
Seed & Stone will be required to purchase cannabis products directly from the provincial government’s distribution branch, and no cultivation, processing or manufacturing will take place on site.
The Annacis Island store is the first dispensary to be approved by Delta council, and more could soon be on the way.
On Nov. 8, council gave first and second reading to an application for a dispensary at 120 – 8077 Scott Road (Delta Shoppers Mall, next door to JYSK). The dispensary would include 156 square metres (1,679 sq. ft.) of retail storefront and 98 square metres (1 ,055 sq. ft.) for office and storage. There would be no cultivation, processing or manufacturing of cannabis products onsite, and consumption of cannabis at or near a dispensary is prohibited under provincial regulations.
The facility would be operated by Inspired Cannabis Co., an established non-medical cannabis retail brand with four dispensaries in B.C. (two in Vancouver and one each in Nanaimo and Salmon Arm), two in Saskatchewan and six in Ontario, plus another Vancouver location and three more in Ontario “coming soon.”
According to a staff report, Inspired Cannabis is a family-run business founded by two owners who have over 15 years of experience in starting up and operating seven community pharmacies in the Vancouver area.
Council referred the application to public hearing prior to third reading. That hearing will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 13, immediately before that afternoon’s regular council meeting.
Four other applications have been received by council for information and are under review by city staff before making their way back for council’s approval.
Three dispensaries are being pitched for South Delta: one at 5128 Ladner Trunk Road (Ladner Centre Mall) and one at 100 – 1179 56th Street (Bayside Village Mall) — both of which would be operated by Inspired Cannabis — and another at 1274 56th Street (Tsawwassen Shopping Centre) by Queensborough Cannabis Co.
Another application would see a government-run cannabis store open at North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre (7019 Scott Road), next door to the existing B.C. liquor store.
On Sept. 27, with (at the time) six applications on the books, Delta council decided in a closed meeting that staff should not accept any new cannabis dispensary rezoning applications “until further notice.”
In 2018, council approved changes to the city’s zoning bylaw that prohibited cannabis dispensaries in all zones. Under those new rules, all applications would need to be approved on a case-by-case basis.
On Oct. 17, 2018, Canada became the second country in the world, behind Uruguay, to federally legalize the consumption of cannabis.
— with a file from Sarah Gawdin