TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO                                Serena Neumerschitsky and Tristan Radzik, along with their husky puppy Toquart, stop for a photo in front of one of Port Hardy’s many beautiful beaches. They are planning to open Stellar Jay Organics, a non-medicinal cannabis retail store, at the North Island Mall.

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO Serena Neumerschitsky and Tristan Radzik, along with their husky puppy Toquart, stop for a photo in front of one of Port Hardy’s many beautiful beaches. They are planning to open Stellar Jay Organics, a non-medicinal cannabis retail store, at the North Island Mall.

Stellar Jay Organics gets the approval from Port Hardy council

Tristan Radzik confirmed Stellar Jay Organics would not be open till 11:00 p.m. every night.

Stellar Jay Organics is now one step closer to officially opening at the North Island Mall.

The District of Port Hardy’s Director of Corporate Services, Heather Nelson-Smith, submitted a report to mayor and council recommending that the district support an application made by Serena Neumerschitsky, Tristan Radzik, and Carol Dirom to allow for a non-medicinal cannabis retail store to be located at #5-9250 Trustee Road in Port Hardy.

Nelson-Smith noted the store will be located in “Comprehensive Development Zone 5, which allows for cannabis retail to be a permitted use,” and that the store is “more than the 100 metres from the nearest playground and more than the 150 metres from a licensed daycare or educational service.”

She also pointed out the Port Hardy RCMP have been contacted about the business (they have no outward concerns with the application at this time), and there are no residences nearby the mall that need to be contacted for public consultation.

Coun. Rick Marcotte made a motion to accept the recommendation as is, which was seconded by Coun. Fred Robertson.

“I just have a couple of questions with regards to the hours of operation,” said Mayor-elect Dennis Dugas, who noted the hours listed in the shop’s application are 9:00 a.m. to 11 p.m., which he feels “is a bit of a concern” because being open that late could potentially be a security risk as they would be the only business open at night at the mall.

“Typically speaking, even when a liquor store applies for hours, they actually go for the maximum so they can ensure they have fluctuations in-between,” said Nelson-Smith. “I would assume that this particular business probably isn’t going to be open to 11 p.m. every single day, but they would like to have the flexibility to be able to flex their hours however they’d like.”

Radzik, who was in attendance at the meeting, confirmed they would not be open till 11:00 p.m. every night.

“Very true about the hours,” agreed Coun. John Tidbury, who added businesses should always aim for the maximum amount of hours to allow for flexibility.

Council ended up passing Nelson-Smith’s recommendation, which means they will send a referral to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) who will make the final decision on whether Stellar Jay Organics is able to open up shop.

If the LCRB approves the businesses application to open a shop, then Neumerschitsky and Radzik will be able to apply for a business licence with the district.