Buddy’s Place, a cannabis business in downtown Nelson, is planning to apply to city council for a bylaw amendment to allow it to operate there permanently.
Currently, the business is operating under a temporary permit, allowed by city council in March 2019, that expires in March 2o21.
Aaron Pang of Buddy’s says the point of the new application is to give the business and its staff some security in the pandemic.
“There is a lot of uncertainty already with everything is right now in this world,” he told the Nelson Star. “We just want to make sure we have a permanent location, because we’re all risking our lives doing all this stuff. We just want to make sure we can protect our staff, protect ourselves, making sure that we have a job.”
As part of its application for the bylaw amendment, Buddy’s will hold an online public presentation and a survey on Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Access can be found at this link: www.go2buddys.com.
The city decided last year to allow five cannabis outlets in Nelson divided between several zones: one in the Nelson Ave. zone, one in Railtown, one in the Lakeside/industrial zone, and two downtown.
At council in February 2019, Buddy’s lost a lottery vote to two other business applicants, Green Room and Nelson Potorium, for the two downtown locations. The lottery was part of a process that the city put in place in 2018 to decide between competing recreational cannabis businesses.
Buddy’s, which was already operating downtown as Leaf Cross at the time, responded by applying successfully for a two-year temporary use permit, arguing that it needed the time to transition to another location outside of the downtown.
Buddy’s wants council to expand its downtown maximum from two businesses to three.
Pang says the city only currently has four cannabis businesses in total, not the maximum of five. He said there are no outlets in the Railtown or Nelson Avenue zones, and he doesn’t’ think any cannabis business would want to open there.
“There’s no density there. There’s nothing going on in Railtown,” he said.
The application is expected to come before council in January or February.