Invermere is one puff closer to becoming home to a recreational cannabis store. Blooming World Cannabis passed a provincial review so their application is now with the District Of Invermere for approval.
At their meeting on Tuesday, December 11th, council opted to hold a public hearing where community members will be welcome to share their thoughts on the proposed shop. The hearing is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9th at council chambers.
Chris Prosser, the District’s chief administrative officer, said the hearing will be structured to allow for a conversation to take place. Blooming World Cannabis will have the opportunity to give a presentation and then respond to questions from the public.
Mayor Al Miller said the public hearing will “keep it totally open, transparent” and give everyone the opportunity to speak.
“This is a discussion and a decision for the whole community,” added councillor Gerry Taft. “Anyone and everyone should be attending.”
Councillor Ute Juras said recreational cannabis is so new that it can seem like “such a big, scary thing” and that “opposition is sometimes born out of ignorance.”
Shawn Wernig, one of the owners behind Blooming World Cannabis, said, “it’s important that we assuage those fears.”
One property owner at Parkside Place, the development where Mr. Wernig would like to open shop, told council she was concerned about recreational cannabis which has been like the “wild west” since it was legalized on October 20th.
In addition to sharing at the public hearing, Mr. Wernig and his co-owner Olivier Hogue will hold a gathering for Parkside Place residents and owners as well as an open house for the general public.
Following the hearing, council will decide whether or not to support the application. If council is in favour, the provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch will then decide whether to issue a license for the shop.