Vernon, B.C., rejects pot shop proposal as 'it is too close to seniors'

The Vernon Pensioners Accommodation Society submitted a petition to council with 43 signatures expressing opposition to the dispensary

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A proposed cannabis dispensary in Vernon, B.C., has ruffled community feathers to the point that dozens of local residents have signed a petition against the store’s location. The application was rejected by city council on Monday, despite city planning manager Craig Broderick’s recommendation for approval.

“There are too many people against it. The preponderance of feedback we’ve gotten is negative,” Councillor Scott Anderson, who voted to reject the proposal, said before the vote.

The space at 2813A 35th Street is located next door to a dog groomer, close to Vernon’s main street, and near a local seniors’ living complex, which seems to be the primary bone of contention among naysayers.

“There are too many people against it. The preponderance of feedback we’ve gotten is negative,” Councillor Scott Anderson, who voted to reject the proposal, said before the vote. Photo: castanet.net

The applicants cannot be named due to privacy regulations.

“It is too close to seniors,” Alice Heward, who organized the petition, told Global News. “I’m very against the location and a lot of the people here are. It is just too close to us.”

Heward claims that unspecified community members feel ill at ease, and that “the smell of pot [and] the high people coming around” will only make things worse. Other opponents cited potential odours.

The Vernon Pensioners Accommodation Society submitted a petition to council with 43 signatures expressing opposition to the dispensary.

Despite the resistance in Vernon, cannabis use is on the rise among seniors, who are the fastest-growing demographic of cannabis consumers in Canada. PABLO PORCIUNCULA BRUNE/AFP/Getty Images

“The tenants feel that this is not a good location at all with so many seniors’ buildings around that area plus the NONA (North Okanagan Neurological Association Child Development Centre) building, which is full of kids. It’s bad enough to have the stores downtown, but why bring a store so close to apartments buildings? Keep the stores away from homes,” the society wrote in the letter to the council that accompanied the petition.

Despite the resistance in Vernon,  cannabis use is on the rise among seniors, who are the fastest-growing demographic of cannabis consumers in Canada.

Meanwhile, other locals were unfazed by the pot shop proposal. “Everybody’s got a right to make a dollar and hopefully it will be just fine,” said Stewart Gladstone, owner of the dog grooming business next door to the proposed location.

Another proposed cannabis shop, located among other retail stores, was approved the same day.

 

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