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VICTORIA, B.C. – Conversation about the rate in which cannabis stores are struggling to get licensed to open, has been a topic for Premier Horgan.
During a recent radio interview with Shane Woodford on Radio NL 610 AM, the Premier shares his frustration with the pace of the application process.
Horgan was asked in the interview if he is concerned as prospective cannabis entrepreneurs wait months and months for approval with their costs mounting, and no relief in sight.

“I am concerned. I thought we had adequate time to get this up and running. Clearly, the system is not moving at the pace the private sector needs,” he said.

Further to that Horgan shares, there is a ‘glitch in the system’ and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth is working as hard as he can to sort out the logjam.

With non-medical cannabis retail stores open in Pouce Coupe, Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek, it is unclear of the hold up of the Fort St. John locations applications.

One local private company owners share their frustration of being in limbo for almost a year holding up the financial end of the business, by the cost of the application and covering a lease on an empty building with no answers as to the future of approval to start renovations and hire employees.
The Ministry of Attorney General’s response as to why applications could be held up is as follows;
  • The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch is currently processing more than 400 cannabis retail store licence applications throughout the province.
  • Application requirements are detailed and robust in the interest of due diligence and public safety.
  • Government can’t comment on information related to specific non-medical cannabis retail store applications as any interaction between the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch and an applicant is private. This protects the applicant’s business decision making.
  • Retail cannabis applications have been following a standard process since cannabis legalization. Applications are placed in the queue as they are received by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.
  • There are many factors that can affect application timelines. These include: applicants submitting all required and correct documentation and the complexity of the corporate structure. Applications containing correct information and documentation are prioritized over those with outstanding documentation.
  • Applicants are contacted as soon as there are updates to communicate or information that applicants need to know.
  • There is no link between the LCRB’s approval process for cannabis retail store licenses and cannabis-related job fairs.

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