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Petition to quell more Carstairs retail cannabis/liquor stores dismissed

Town approves licences for cannabis and liquor stores and permits new strip mall
CARSTAIRS - Despite receiving a petition, the Town of Carstairs has approved business licences for a retail cannabis store and a liquor store, pending approval from Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) for both, as well as a building permit for the three-bay strip mall the stores would be located in.

The property for the strip mall is located on 10th Avenue in Carstairs between Two Guys Auto Parts and the old community hall, said CAO Carl McDonnell.

The petition was circulated by the owner and a staff member at AB Liquor Mart and submitted to the town on Dec. 9 with approximately 400 names.

Charmaine Mulder, an employee of AB Liquor Mart, told the Gazette that the town can’t support that many cannabis and liquor stores.

“Shawn Kandola, the owner of AB Liquor Mart, received a letter from the town stating this was going to happen and to appeal by December 10,” said Mulder. “We’re trying to appeal. He wrote up a letter. I took a petition form to the cannabis store that’s in town (Canna Corp) already and the two other liquor stores.”

Mulder said the reason they circulated the petition was because they feel that Carstairs already has enough cannabis and liquor retail stores.

“We’re a small town and we don’t really need four liquor stores and three marijuana shops,” she said. “And it would affect business.”

The petition was not legal as it had wrong information in it stating the cannabis store and liquor store were in the same store, which is not allowed under provincial legislation, said McDonnell.

“We don’t have any bylaws restricting the number of businesses in town,” he said. “There was no reason from a technical standpoint for us to turn it down.”

McDonnell said the information regarding the licence applications was send out to nearby landowners and businesses.

“As part of the process we circulated the information to neighbouring landowners and businesses,” he said. “One of the neighbouring businesses is an existing liquor store.”

McDonnell said each application is reviewed on its own merit.

“The building permit may not be declined or approved based on the proposed use, it would be based on the land use bylaw requirements,” he said. “With the liquor and cannabis businesses, the permits would be reviewed as any other business licence.”

McDonnell said the neighbouring businesses or anyone else directly affected can appeal the decision to the municipal planning commission.