The possible future location of a cannabis retail store on Main Street in Smithers, last occupied by Rudolph’s Sausage. (Chris Gareau photo)

Smithers pot shop delayed

Co-owner Alfred Schaefer said their schedule for opening has moved back to October at the earliest.

Put that in your Alpenhorn and smoke it.

If all goes to plan, Smithers could have its very own recreational dispensary in the near future.

As for exactly when — that’s a little harder to predict.

After purchasing property at 1126 Main Street, locally-owned Rural Leaf is still waiting to hear back from the Province about being approved for a non-medical cannabis retail license.

The store had initially hoped to open by the end of August but in an email to The Interior News Rural Leaf co-owner Alfred Schaefer said part of the reason for the delay is that the Province is overwhelmed with similar application.

“The processing time has slowed down significantly,” Schaefer said.

He said that it was hard to speculate on when exactly the Province would approve or deny their license, but added that their schedule has now moved back to October at the earliest.

Assuming it is approved, Schaefer said it will only be a matter of “weeks to a month” before the store is opened.

The Town has already thrown their support behind Rural Leaf, voting unanimously to recommend to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) that Rural Leaf’s request to issue a non-medical cannabis retail store licence at 1126 Main Street be approved at its May 28 meeting.

Councillors expressed support for the development for a multitude of reasons, such as increased foot traffic to the more southwestern area of Main Street.

At that meeting, Schaefer spoke in support of the company, characterizing it as three people from Smithers that have the well-being of the town as one of their foremost concerns.

“My business partners … and myself are all long-term residents of this community, we all own houses here, pay taxes here and are community-minded folks,” said Schaefer.

“We’re all people that love this community and are actively striving to make it a better place in our own small ways.”

Currently the closest dispensaries are located in Terrace and Vanderhoof.

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