As recreational cannabis legalization looms next week, a pair of well-known Kamloops restaurateurs are looking to get into the business.
Chris Monteleone and Dino Bernardo, who co-own the Commodore Grand Cafe and Lounge in downtown Kamloops, are partnering on their next venture in applying for a retail cannabis license to open a private cannabis store in the Fortune Shopping Centre on the North Shore.
It will be separate from the Commodore and include a third partner, friend Justin Cuzzetto.
“I think it’s going to be a big industry and I’m excited to be at the forefront of it,” Monteloene told KTW.
Fiore Fresco — “Fresh Flower” in Italian — would sell dried cannabis, seeds, accessories and eventually edibles at 6-750 Fortune Dr., next to Safeway.
The space, which was formerly home to a dollar store, has been leased and the trio plans to complete a 20- to 25-day renovation pending approval of the licence.
“We’re looking for a very sleek, classy design of our shop,” Monteleone said.
The proposed location falls within the city’s designated zoning for cannabis stores.
Monteleone said that was step one in due-diligence during what he called an intense application process.
The trio has used lawyers, drafters, bankers and advisors in crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s and Monteleone praised the city for guiding the local entrepreneurs through the process.
“I know it’s new for everybody and often these things will have hurdles to jump over and things to reassess … but I think they’ve been very good at filling everybody in,” he said.
The application will come to city council on Oct. 30 alongside another private cannabis store application slated for 399 Tranquille Rd. in North Kamloops.
Chris Lyth has applied to open The Shore Cannabiz Shop.
Meanwhile, an application for the first government cannabis store is headed to city hall next week, on Oct. 16.
That store is expected to open in time for legalization, which is on Oct. 17.