Blooming World set to grow
By Stephanie Stevens
Sitting in the front row of the audience at the District of Invemere’s (DOI) January 22 meeting, a nervous Shawn Wernig scanned the agenda, wondering aloud how long they would have to wait to hear council’s decision.
Wernig and his partners Olivier Hogue and Marjorie Fournier are the owners and managers of Blooming World Cannabis Retail Store. The DOI council’s approval was the last hurdle before the trio applies for a license from the B.C. Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCCB) for their store, located at Unit 103, 905 7th Ave (Parkside Place) in Invermere.
The wait was worth it.
Before the vote was even called, each councillor, as well as Mayor Al Miller, commented and voiced their intention to vote in favour.
“In my eight years at council, this application by Blooming World is the best I have seen,” Councillor Greg Anderson said via phone. “They have been honest and transparent, and it speaks volumes to me about how they will run this business. They have my support.”
Coun. Ute Juras commended the applicants for all they did to “educate and address concerns.
“The biggest concern is that it is such new territory, but I think the same was probably true when they legalized alcohol,” said Juras. “I will also be supporting this.”
Coun. Kayja Becker thanked the applicants for making her first public hearing so easy, adding she felt even though there were made excellent points from both sides, the hearing was respectful and calm.
“We got a really good cross section of the community,” said Coun. Gerry Taft. “It is good to see people participating in the democratic process.”
Taft added no one who had opposed the location of the store said anything negative about the applicants themselves, echoing Juras’ comment that the only fear expressed was that of the unknown.
“This store will add diversity and vibrancy (to Invermere’s downtown core) and I support it,” he said.
Last to comment, Miller said there did not seem to be a lot left for him to say.
“It is a professional building, it is a professional business, and I don’t think they will be anything less than professional.”
Council voted unanimously in support.
After the meeting, Wernig said he did not think the extent of the relief and happiness would kick in until the next morning.
“The build-up to all of this has been so stressful, but I am so relieved right now,” he said.
Pending the approval of license from LCCB, Fourier said they were hoping to have their doors open by mid-February.