To the Editor,
Re: Port Alberni To Talk Pot Monday, Nov. 19.
I spoke briefly at the City of Port Alberni’s committee of the whole meeting but I would like to share my views on the retail sale of marijuana in Port Alberni more concisely. First of all, I think that all of the marijuana shops should be located somewhere in the Uptown area.
This could inject the area with money, creativity and a fresh vitality which the area so desperately needs. It could become a tourist destination point for some of those million people who currently bypass Port Alberni (with the exception perhaps of a brief stop at Walmart and a gas station on Johnston Road) on their way to the west coast.
It would also make regulation and enforcement easier because the trade would be contained in a central area.
Currently, my impression is that any one applying for a license would decide on a location themselves. It’s the same old desperation – the tail wagging the dog – and I would hope that the new mayor and council would take a more creative approach to revitalizing the Uptown area.
The irony of a proposal to locate an outlet in the Pacific Rim mall is not lost on me. That very mall, with its big box stores, is a large part of the reason Uptown is such a retail desert. Locating a store at Pacific Rim will just facilitate traffic cruising through. We need to give these tourists a reason to stop, shop, eat, and enjoy our city. We need a way to create a critical mass of traffic necessary for success. Cars pulling into a shop in Pacific Rim is not going to provide heightened traffic in town, it will be just another gas up spot on the way to wherever.