A flowering cannabis plant. (File photo)

Province approves proposed Smithers dispensary in principle

Co-owner Alfred Schaefer said the company is hoping to be open by September 23.

The Province has approved in principle a proposed Smithers dispensary.

“We need to pass an inspection from the province before we can open,” said Alfred Schaefer, co-owner of Rural Leaf, a dispensary that is proposed for 1126 Main Street in Smithers.

Schaefer told The Interior News the company is hoping to be open by the Fall Equinox — September 23.

READ MORE: Smithers pot shop delayed

The Town has already thrown its support behind the proposed business, voting unanimously at their May 28 meeting to recommend to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) that Rural Leaf’s request be approved.

At that meeting, Schaefer noted one of the benefits of Rural Leaf was it was being operated by three long-time locals as opposed to a larger company expanding to smaller communities.

“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.”

The dispensary has proposed hours of 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., which Coun. Wray noted were consistent with businesses which sell alcohol downtown at their May 28 meeting.

READ MORE: Town of Smithers supports pot shop

“When I saw the RCMP comments that’s the same hours that are afforded to the Liquor Warehouse, for example, I can’t really have a problem with it.”

Similarly, 81 per cent of respondents to an Interior News poll said they thought the Town should support the dispensary in their application.

Cannabis was legalized by the Liberal government on Oct. 18, 2018.

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