Medical marijuana dispensary debated in Prince George

Prince George's first proposed pot dispensary is already running into trouble over concerns about its location.

Public hearing for proposed pot 'pharmacy' scheduled for Monday night

A businessman hopes to open Prince George's first pot dispensary, but city staff don't like the location.

Prince George's first proposed pot dispensary is already running into trouble over concerns about its location.

John Stiles and a business partner have unveiled plans for an online medical marijuana dispensary in a building close to downtown.

City planner Mandy Stanker says staff are advising against the permit because of its proposed location at 1798 Nicholson St.

Prince George has a medical marijuana bylaw requiring businesses to locate in industrial areas, where low traffic and windowless, high security buildings are common.

City staff say the proposed location isn't suitable for an online pot dispensary. (Google Street View)

In this case, the proposed location is about 200 metres from a home directly behind the College of New Caledonia, and close to the Salvation Army.

"It's getting to be a very busy intersection," said Stanker. 

No walk-in customers

Stiles says the dispensary won't be a retail outlet. His company, Northstar Lyon Holdings, would use the building to store drugs, take online orders from patients with prescriptions, and prepare and dispense medical marijuana in prescription doses. Their product would then be delivered to customers by courier vans.

"We can't invite people in off the street to conduct business. There's no walk-ins or browsers, and no [publicity] placards," Stiles told Prince George City Council in March.

Stiles also told council his company would abide by strict rules set by Health Canada governing everything from ventilation to security. 

"For all intents and purposes, we are a pharmacy,"  he said.

City council will hold a public hearing Monday at 7 p.m. PT about the proposal.

Stiles declined to speak to CBC News ahead of the hearing, where he will be seeking a Temporary Use Permit.

This is the first such application in Prince George. Vancouver is currently considering licence proposals from nearly 100 medical marijuana dispensaries.

With files from Andrew Kurjata

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