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Zoning change will allow retail cannabis store on Concession Street

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A property at 107 Concession St. East in Tillsonburg has been rezoned to allow for a retail store for the sale of cannabis for three years in the Ancomar Investments Corporation plaza.

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Eric Gilbert, senior planner at Oxford County, provided an overview of the application on June 14.

Gilbert said Annandale Public School is 230 metres to the south of the address, more than the required 150 metres of separation.

According to Official Plan policies, Gilbert said staff believed the proposed retail store should be located in the downtown area first.

“If council does decide to give favourable consideration to the proposal, it is recommended that similar to other applications that were recently approved, council enact a temporary use bylaw,” said Gilbert, noting the applicant would be able to apply for a future three-year renewal.

“The idea is that once the cannabis retail use doesn’t exist, those permissions will lapse.”

Gilbert confirmed that the applicant, The Underground, was about to open and applied for a business licence, which triggered the zoning review. The applicant ceased to operate until proper zoning was in place.

“When I first applied for the application, in all honesty, it was oversight on my part,” said applicant David Ferkul. “It was a simple mistake on my behalf.”

Ferkul said there are multiple cannabis stores opening in Tillsonburg – six have applied, he said – and a lot of them are being pushed into the downtown core.

“With that, this market is very, very competitive. That being said, the only way for all these … to operate would be to sort of spread it out. Competition is fierce and the government didn’t put the right regulations in to protect the cities for a cluster of them.”

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