Staff recommended White Rock city council "refuse" to grant the business licence by unanimous vote, but after Councillors Helen Fathers and Louise Hutchinson voted to allow it, the business got its wish.
A business licence can only be denied if council votes unanimously against it, explained Fathers.
Before the meeting, Fathers said the staff recommendations were a "disgrace" and added that she was embarrassed it was even an item up for question.
"I think there’s the old things that a lot of people associate hemp with marijuana. But this wasn’t about marijuana," Fathers said Tuesday. "I don’t know if there’s perhaps a bit of the fear factor going on."
Fathers said she is glad to see the business owner get the licence.
"All the power to him," she said. "He’s going to be a business man in White Rock."
The applicant, HEMPYZ Gifts and Novelties, plans to operate storefront at 14967 Marine Dr. The store’s website says the White Rock location will be open from May 4. The applicant has two other store locations in the Langley area.
The business specializes in the sale of "hemp-based beauty products," "purses with built-in smell-proof compartments," "pot leaf novelty items," and other "marijuana related gifts and novelty items," as advertised on its website.
A report to council said residents living above the proposed store have been calling into city hall with complaints and concerns about the business locating where proposed and citing concerns regarding safety and security.
The report goes on to say staff were also contacted by the White Rock RCMP citing similar concerns, including the proposed business attracting "criminal elements" and "associated crimes." The RCMP advised that there had been numerous break-ins at the other business locations in Langley.
White Rock Coun. Helen Fathers: "It’s a disgrace. I’m so embarrassed that this is even an item on the agenda."
News Hawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Surrey Now
Author: Amy Reid
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Website: Hemp store gets business licence in White Rock, despite recommendations to deny it