Second cannabis retail store application in Pitt Meadows

Second cannabis retail store application in Pitt Meadows

Kelo Cannabis operators would like to open a store in their home town.

The first cannabis retail story in Pitt Meadows was approved at a location in the Meadowtown Shopping Centre earlier this year, and now the city has a new application for a second store, at the Meadowvale Shopping Centre.

The unit would be located near Shopper’s Drug Mart, at 112-19150 Lougheed Hwy.

The applicants are 15-year Pitt Meadows residents Tanya and Vadim Gramuglia, proprietors of Kelo Cannabis, who have been running a cannabis retail store in Kelowna since 2020.

“We would like to open our second store in our hometown,” they said a letter to council.

They noted their Kelowna store offers employees well above minimum wage, and more than competitors. The store would employ 10-15 people.

“We are long standing law abiding citizens and we will sell our products with the strictest attention to the laws,” said their presentation to council.

After some debate, council asked the applicant to host a development information meeting, to offer nearby residents an opportunity for early input.

“For me, I believe one cannabis retail outlet is sufficient in our small community, at this time,” said Coun. Mike Hayes. “I certainly would like to see how successful the first store becomes, before considering another application for our city. So I won’t be supporting this.”

Coun. Mike Manion spoke against allowing a single-store monopoly.

“As a council we at least have to foster competition,” said Manion. “So, as much as I understand what Coun. Hayes is saying about one, I think we at least have to go to two. So I’ll be supporting it.”

Coun. Tracy Elke also spoke in favour of more stores – for competitive reasons and to meet demand.

“We have a lot of liquor stores in our community, we have a lot of sushi restaurants as well, and dog groomers,” she said. “This is a legal business, I really like the package, I like the decor and some of the goals of the business, and values. It looks like a really reputable business, and I think there’s definitely the demand for it in our community as well. We want to see people staying local instead of going outside our community.”

Coun. Alison Evans said she favours an established company, and said the business ticks a lot of the city’s boxes.

Mayor Nicole MacDonald also spoke in favour of providing competition, and noted the location would be walkable for many residents.

MacDonald noted council’s policy, which has minimum setbacks, will limit the number sites available for cannabis stores. The policy says a new store must be in a commercial area, that is transit accessible, with parking. It must also be more than 500m from other cannabis retail, and more than 200m from a school, playground or sports field.

The staff report noted city hall has received numerous inquires about applications and potential new sites. There is a third application in process on Ford Road.

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