BAY ROBERTS, NL — With the legalization of cannabis months away from becoming a reality, a company has taken steps to become the first to get its foot through the door in establishing a retail weed store in Bay Roberts.
A numbered company based in St. John’s submitted an application to the town to occupy retail space at 125 Conception Bay Highway. Previously treated as an illegal narcotic drug, cannabis is set to become legal later this year.
Bay Roberts council members discussed the application during the Tuesday, April 24, public meeting. Council agreed to refer it to the planning and development committee for further review.
The application was not altogether unexpected, as Mayor Philip Wood has mentioned at past meetings it was highly likely larger communities in the area such as Bay Roberts would be viewed as an ideal location for retail cannabis stores. He suggested council would need to treat these applications much like it would any other business. Wood reiterated these comments at Tuesday’s meeting.
Chief administrative officer Nigel Black said the provincial government through Cannabis NL — a division of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) — has started the process of identifying who can sell the product.
“But they really haven’t laid out a full framework in terms of how they’re going to … fully implement the process,” he added. “Until we get the laydown from the province and also the legislation from the feds, we really can’t approve a business that’s not legal.”
For communities within the A0A area code — covering Conception Bay and the Southern Shore — the NLC expects four stores will exist to meet the customer demand. This area represents approximately nine per cent of the province’s population.