Andrew Sablon

Andrew Sablon said he aims to sell cannabis that has been grown locally.

KODIAK — The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly unanimously voted to approve a letter of non-protest for the issuance of a new license for a marijuana retail store, under two conditions, at a regular meeting Thursday. 

Dejavu Cannabis Company, which will be located behind the Rendezvous Bar in Bells Flats, is the second cannabis retail store that the Assembly has given a green light. Dejavu owner and operator Andrew “Drew” Sablon must now abide by the two conditions laid out by the Assembly: the store location structure is completed and inspected; and that a certificate of occupancy from the KIB building official is obtained.

Sablon was in attendance at the Assembly meeting, during which a public hearing for the issuance of his license was held. He introduced himself and spoke briefly about his business. 

“I will be opening the Dejavu Cannabis Company within the next, hopefully, month. I have the building permits in line; I’ve already got the zoning compliance. I have my foundation form poured. We’ll be banging in nails next week,” he said. “This morning (May 2), I did receive my state approval, and I did get my license from the state.”

Sablon went on to say that, as soon as the building is ready, he will invite the fire marshal and building inspector to look at the place, and obtain his certificate of occupancy. 

According to a staff report on the item, the KIB clerk’s office checked with the different borough departments, including the building officials and fire marshal, to determine if there was any reason to protest the issuance of the license. The only two causes of protest found were by the fire marshal and the assessing department, both of which require the structure to be finished before they can approve it. 

The letter of non-protest was voted for unanimously by the Assembly –– including Assembly member Julie Kavanaugh. This may come as a surprise to some community members, after an April 18 KIB Assembly meeting, during which Kavanaugh opted to abstain from a vote regarding a cannabis retail store. During that meeting, she explained that she didn’t want to vote on the matter because the legalization of marijuana conflicts with the U.S. Constitution.

“Probably a few people are surprised I made a motion to approve, after the last time we brought this topic before the Assembly,” Kavanaugh said. “I took an oath to uphold the U.S. constitution, which is in conflict with this … but I also didn’t become an assembly member to be an obstructionist. I feel this item deserves to go through the process and I shouldn’t obstruct this from doing that on a local level.” 

Kavanaugh noted that the staff report on Dejavu had recommended protesting the issuance of a license until Sablon had completed his building and had fulfilled the final two conditions. However, Kavanaugh said that she felt the Assembly should support a business owner who is trying to open up shop as soon as possible. 

“Our recommended motion is to protest the issuance of a license, but this individual wants to get his store up and going in a pretty short period of time,” she said. “We had put conditions on an issuance of a license previous to this, so I think this would solve the dilemma if the Assembly chooses to vote for that.”

Prior to the vote, assembly member Dennis Symmons voiced his support for Sablon 

“I’ve known Drew for a few years now. And there is no doubt in my mind that he’s going to do this right,” he said. “This has been his passion ever since we made it (recreational cannabis) legal, and he’s doing it the right way.”

This is the second cannabis retail store for which the Borough Assembly has voted to issue a letter of non-protest. At its April 18 regular meeting, the Assembly voted to issue a letter of non-protest for the issuance of a license to Jack Schactler for High Rise LLC, which will be located at 104 Center Avenue.

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