Store manager Charity Neufeld and Rob MacIsaac. (Photo Gerry Leibel)

Kitimat has two cannabis store licence applications

“The people fighting this most are pot smokers who don’t want to pay taxes.”

Rob MacIsaac is one of two local entrepreneurs that has applied for a licence to sell cannabis in Kitimat.

Speaking exclusively to the Northern Sentinel last week, MacIsaac said should both applications go through, there will still be an opportunity for more stores to open in Kitimat.

“There are enough cannabis smokers in this town to keep four shops going,” MacIsaac added.

Aptly named Euphoria Cannabis, his store will be located on Entreprise Ave. in the Service Centre, near to the Kitimat Hotel.

The District of Kitimat bylaw specifies stores may only be located in two areas, in the city centre or in the Service Centre. MacIsaac said he chose the location in the Service Centre because he has objections to cannabis stores being located in the mall.

“I don’t believe the stores should be in the mall, or anywhere near where kids hang out regularly,” said MacIsaac. “We shouldn’t be promoting cannabis to anyone under 25-years-old.”

He said while he supports the legalization of cannabis, he has a few concerns about the legislation, particularly with the effect the legalization will have on the youth.

MacIsaac also objects to the legislation allowing the use of cannabis in public spaces and walkways.

“We don’t allow people to walk down the street with a beer, so why allow people to smoke pot on the street?” asked MacIsaac, who is a father himself. “I don’t smoke pot where my kid can smell it.”

He said opposition to the opening of a store has been minimal, resistance coming mostly from people who are currently cannabis smokers.

“People will continue to buy from unlicensed dealers – they still want to buy and smoke cannabis, but they don’t want the government to have a cut,” said MacIsaac. “The people fighting this most are pot smokers who don’t want to pay taxes.”

He said the legalization application is a long and involved process, with checks and balances at every stage of the application. However, he said it’s worth it as legalization brings a lot of advantages for licensed dealers.

All products sold in the store have to be purchased from the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB), which is the is the sole, wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis for the province.

“I can choose which varieties I want to buy but I can’t sell it cheaper than what the LDB sells it to me for. Every gram I buy has to be accounted for,” said MacIsaac.

He said the product can only be promoted in-store, and that he can’t sell anything in the store other than cannabis. The store windows have to be blacked out from inside so that no product is visible to anyone walking past.

Store owners aren’t allowed to set up displays and may only provide customers with a ‘menu’ – a page with photos of the product.

MacIsaac is also not allowed to talk about any medicinal advantages cannabis might have.

The background checks for any applicant are exhaustive, going back 15 years, including a criminal history check.

MacIsaac’s application, which was launched in October 2018, still has to go before the District of Kitimat council and requires public input as well.

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

LNG Canada sponsors fast-tracked driver’s license training in Terrace, Kitimat

The $80,000 contribution is part of the company’s commitment to hire locally

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Most Read