VICTORIA -- Saanich could become the home of the first provincial cannabis retailer on the South Island after a BC Cannabis store proposal works its way through the permitting process.

The retail application is for a BC Cannabis store near the Whole Foods Market at the Uptown shopping centre at 3440 Saanich Rd.

"The BC Cannabis store application at Uptown is currently in progress and in the referral stage (with referral to neighbouring properties, police, fire, etc.), after which it will proceed to council for consideration," says District of Saanich spokesperson Kelsie McLeod.

The nearest government-run cannabis retailer opened its doors last month in Parksville, approximately 90 kilometres away.

A Nanaimo location is expected to open at Woodgrove Crossing in May.

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch, which operates the provincial cannabis retailers, says it's too early to determine a potential opening date for the Saanich store if the application is approved.

Saanich council will consider the proposal in the spring.