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The District of Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island denied three cannabis store applications at a council meeting last week.

Mayor Mayco Noel said even though cannabis has been legal for a year, he didn’t think the stores would be a good fit for the community.

The decision has been somewhat controversial among residents — especially since neighbouring Tofino approved two stores this summer. 

Marilyn McEwen, a councillor with the district of Ucluelet, voted in favour of two of the cannabis stores. 

“I liked the locations … and I liked both of the applicants,” she said on CBC’s All Points West. 

McEwen was the only councillor to vote in favour of any of the applications. 

She said she couldn’t speak for her fellow councillors, but it might be a bit early for Ucluelet to have its own cannabis store.

With the new store in Tofino, she says, people don’t have to go far to purchase pot, adding there is also a government-run cannabis store in Port Alberni, about 100 km down the highway. 

McEwen said public hearings on the matter showed residents were split 50/50. 

“There’s always going to be an element where some people will not come and speak out and give an opinion either way just because it is such a small town everybody knows everybody,” she said. 

Applications for cannabis stores are still welcome, she noted. 

“I know at least one of the two that I voted for is waiting in the wings to reapply once he knows what council is actually looking for,” she said.

The population of the district municipality is around 1,700 people.

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