By Lyonel Doherty
Oliver Town council is considering a request by the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) to open a BC Cannabis Store in the community.
Council received a letter from Blain Lawson, general manager of the LDB that is very interested in seeing Oliver host a cannabis store for recreational users.
The provincial government has legislated that the branch will be the sole wholesale distributor of cannabis and the only entity to provide online sales. Retail sales are also permitted through private and public (LDB) stores.
Local governments like the Town of Oliver play a key role in the licensing process for retail stores, and have been granted authority to prohibit or limit the number of stores in the community.
Lawson said the LDB is committed to working with Oliver and its law enforcement agency to ensure a smooth and safe introduction of the cannabis market here.
Lawson said keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors will be the LDB’s top priority.
“Unlike liquor stores, minors will not be permitted to enter cannabis retail stores, even if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.”
When entering the store, there will be an identification check at the entrance. Individuals without identification will not be allowed in.
Lawson said all BC Cannabis Stores will employ unionized staff. Stores in smaller communities may have six to 12 employees.
Workers must undergo special training on how to deal with unruly or intoxicated customers.
The store will have smash-resistant windows, security shutters and interior and exterior camera surveillance.
Town council will address the matter this evening at its regular meeting.