Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 2015
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Ian Austin
Page: 4


Realtors will tell you the three most important factors are location, 
location, location.

The same applies to B.C.'s budding marijuana dispensary business: All 
locations are definitely not created equal.

In Sechelt, the local RCMP detachment is threatening to shut down a 
marijuana dispensary that has yet to even open.

A couple of hours away, five dozen pot dispensaries in Vancouver 
operate openly with little chance an overworked police force will 
drop by for a visit.

Two communities, two very different approaches.

Const. Harrison Mohr of Sunshine Coast RCMP says a soon-to-open Weeds 
Glass and Gifts outlet will be shut down if it attempts to open in Sechelt.

"They applied for a business licence but were turned down," said 
Mohr. "If they do open as a business, they would be in violation of 
local bylaws."

Weeds manager Robin Kehler told The Province his would-be outlet is 
being singled out.

"They're biased," said Kehler. "There are lots of dispensaries in 
towns that have the RCMP.

"They need to get together federally and provincially to decide what 
they're going to do about this."

Vancouver police Const. Brian Montague said city cops have raided 
about half a dozen dispensaries in the past year, and recommended 
charges be laid.

But to his knowledge, no charges have yet been laid.

Montague said attitudes and reality are both on the move - as 
Washington state now allows adults to openly purchase and possess up 
to one ounce of recreational pot.

Jamie Shaw, president of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis 
Dispensaries, said big cities like Vancouver with a long history of 
dispensaries have little problem with the pot shops, but new 
locations tend to get people concerned.

"Places like Toronto, Victoria, Nanaimo, have had them for a long 
time, for decades," said Shaw. "People are knowledgeable and experienced."

In the short-term, Kehler has a way around the problem, saying the 
dispensary will open for "membership drives."

"People have a right to choose their own medicine," said Kehler, who 
promises to only sell "product" to those with a doctor's prescription.
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