VICTORIA -- Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis store could arrive at Saanich’s Uptown shopping centre, following a period of public consultation.

Saanich council unanimously approved a proposal for a government-run, non-medical cannabis store at the shopping centre during a meeting Monday.

With council’s approval now secured, the proposal will be presented at a public hearing that will be scheduled at a later date.

“In general, I am supportive of this going to a public hearing because I do believe that Saanich needs to give consideration to it now that it is a legal substance,” said Coun. Colin Plant at the meeting.

“I’m personally pleased to see that the first non-medical cannabis retailer store is potentially going to be run by the province,” he said. “I think that gives me great faith as a first one to have – that it will be appropriate.”

Plant added that he approved of the location at the Uptown complex as it is “nowhere near schools” in the region.

The BC Cannabis store’s proposed location would be on the second level of the shopping complex, in units E107 and E109, near Whole Foods Market.

uptown cannabis

The store would feature operating hours and signage that are consistent with other BC Cannabis stores located on Vancouver Island, like the ones in Parksville, Campbell River and Port Alberni.

According to a report submitted to council by staff, neither the Saanich police or fire departments have objected to the store’s application.

To collect the opinions of nearby residents, approximately 875 letters were also mailed out to residents and business owners in the area.

Of those letters, only two responses were mailed back to the district, and neither objected to the proposed cannabis store.