A space attached to the Owl Pub and Liquor Store is the site of a proposed cannabis store. Currently, the space is used for storage. (Vanessa Broadbent photo)
By Vanessa Broadbent
The applicant for a proposed cannabis retail store attached to the Owl Pub at Spartan Drive and Main Street is offering to mitigate public safety concerns about the store’s entrance being in an active loading area by closing the shop every time a delivery occurs.
Eddie Edwards currently oversees the Owl Pub and Cold Beer and Wine Store and talked to Osoyoos town council about his proposal at a public hearing for his site-specific zoning application last week.
Deliveries occur from Tuesday to Friday and usually take about 30 minutes, Edwards said.
His plan is for drivers to call him when they’re about 10 minutes away so that staff can close the store.
“We have a relationship with all these suppliers. They have the means to let us know when they’re coming,” he said.
“We’ll close the whole time during the delivery so that public safety will not be an issue because there will be nobody there, and reopen when they’re gone.”
• Read more: Pot shop proposed for space attached to Owl Pub
Osoyoos resident Natasha Rojas spoke against the proposed location and said having the entrance in a “back corner” could dissuade medical cannabis users from shopping at the store.
“It gives it a different vibe,” she said. “Perception is a huge part of how people look at things and how they respond to things and I think it limits who will feel comfortable exploring those things.”
When the zoning amendment bylaw was first presented to council, town staff outlined a need for on-site parking, currently limited with a parkade below the building closed off.
Edwards said he’d look into re-opening it, but is aware of difficulties that might rise again.
“I always felt bad telling my manager to go down and break up some of the gatherings that were there. There was many times close to fist fights.”
Council will vote on the zoning amendment bylaw’s third reading at a future meeting.
A different zoning amendment bylaw for a cannabis store at a store front on Main Street was also addressed at a council meeting last week and unanimously given third reading. The applicant now needs to obtain provincial approval before moving forward with the store’s opening.