The front runner to become the first provincially-licenced retail cannabis store in our area will be closing its doors, temporarily. Gibsons-based retailer The Healing Hut was the first BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) licence applicant from the lower Sunshine Coast to receive an endorsement from local government. Approval from the local governing body is required for licence application approval.
“The BC Task Force has paid the Coast a visit this week and it’s in our best interest to close down in the near future until our new licenced, regulated store is up and running,” said Brenda Harris, co-owner of The Healing Hut.
The Healing Hut has operated a storefront on Marine Drive since 2016. It has a Gibsons business licence and a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) for this location.
Harris applied to the LCRB under the name Coastal Bay Cannabis for a retail cannabis store licence in August, 2018. The application was referred by the LCRB to the Town for endorsement. Council provided the endorsement in December.
“It’s a good thing we have our licence almost complete. We will be shutting temporarily to avoid any complications with that approval. We will be putting notices up in our shop and on our Facebook page informing people to stock up on whatever they need until we can re-open with regulated alternatives,” said Harris.
It is not clear how long the closure at The Healing Hut would last or when a decision on its licence application will be made.
Along with providing the letter of endorsement for Harris’ application, Gibsons council also processed TUP applications for other cannabis stores.
In May of this year, Sechelt held a public hearing on zoning bylaw conditions for licenced retail sales and other cannabis related operations within its boundaries. At its June 19 council meeting, adjustments to the draft bylaw that was reviewed at that hearing were requested. A modified proposed bylaw is scheduled to come back to council in July. Sechelt has not endorsed either of the two cannabis store licence applications that have been referred to it by the LCRB.