‘Mom and pop’ pot shop planned for North Shore

A 55-year-old Kamloops man hopes to open a “mom and pop” pot shop in North Kamloops.

Chris Lyth has applied for a cannabis license to open a private store, dubbed The Shore Cannabiz Shop, at 399 Tranquile Rd., at the corner of MacKenzie Avenue.

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“I think it’s an exciting time as cannabis becomes legal,” Lyth told KTW. “It’s not too often our generation gets an opportunity like this.”

The application is headed to city hall on Oct. 30 following the legalization of recreational cannabis on Oct. 17.

Lyth has lived in Kamloops for seven years. He said he has gone through many hoops to get this far in the process, including paying pricey fees and self-financing.

Lyth said no financial institution would back him and his wife in opening a store, noting he can’t even open a business account to pay employees. Lyth suspects U.S. influence on big banks is to blame and hopes that will change come Oct. 17.

“It’s a little bit frustrating, to be honest with you,” he said.

Financing is not the only hurdle in opening a cannabis store.

“Finding a location [commercial space], I feel sorry for a lot of people trying to find a shop,” he said.

Should the cannabis licence be approved, Lyth would still need to complete renovations. If city council approves the licence at the end of the month, his application must go back to the province.

“I’m hoping a couple weeks after we receive conditional approval that we’d be able to open. When that is, I don’t know,” he said.

Lyth’s application will go to council the same day as an application from a pair of local restaurateurs, Dino Bernardo and Chris Monteleone. They, along with friend Justin Cuzzetto, hope to open Fiore Fresco in the Fortune Shopping Centre.

The first cannabis licence application — for a government shop in Columbia Place Shopping Centre in Sahali — will come to council next Tuesday, a day before legalization.

That store is expected to be the first legal pot store in B.C.

© 2018 Kamloops This Week

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