North Cowichan council gave final approval for a retail marijuana store on the corner of Mount Sicker Road and the Trans Canada Highway at its meeting on Dec. 4.
The store, which will be set up adjacent to the Red Rooster restaurant at 8432 Trans Canada Hwy. and called Father Nature’s Gifts, is only the second retail cannabis shop in North Cowichan to be given permission to open from council after the Costa Canna store in Cowichan Commons received final approval in September.
That Costa Canna location is still not open.
There are currently two retail marijuana stores operating in the Valley; Costa Canna’s first store in Duncan Mall, and High5 Retail at 521 Canada Ave.
Patrick Nadeau, owner of Father Nature’s Gifts, said he’s still waiting for the province’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch to issue him a business licence to operate before he can open.
“I’m still waiting for the branch to complete its financial and criminal record checks before they will issue me a licence,” Nadeau said.
“I expect that once the branch receives the letter from North Cowichan saying that the municipality has approved the store, it should take about six to eight more weeks. It’s been a long time as I first submitted my application for the store last February.”
Once all the approvals and licences are in place and he can open the store, Nadeau said the types of products he will sell depends of what the province provides.
“I think there will be a huge market for edibles because a lot of people don’t smoke anymore,” he said.
“I find the retail marijuana business a little scary because we just don’t know the end game. The province doesn’t make the products for the liquor industry and it shouldn’t be in charge of both production and distribution in the marijuana industry. It should just be responsible for distribution.”