Pubdate: Thu, 30 Jul 2015
Source: Cranbrook Daily Townsman (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 Black Press
Author: Carolyn Grant


Ever since granting a business license for Tamarack Dispensaries - 
which will sell medical marijuana tinctures and edibles for those 
with prescriptions - Kimberley has been attracting a lot of attention 
and interest from those looking to set up medical marijuana businesses.

Mayor Don McCormick says he has been fielding a lot of calls, from 
those looking to set up businesses, and from other municipalities 
looking for advice on how Kimberley went about granting a business 
license when federal law is a grey area.

"We've had phone calls," McCormick said. "A couple of municipalities 
have asked for details and background. We're not the only community 
grappling with this."

At City Council on Monday evening, Council heard from a delegation 
looking to set up another medical marijuana dispensary. DBA Kimberley 
Botanicals is looking to sell oils, creams, salves and the dried 
product - no edibles.

McCormick says that Council listened to the business plan but made no decision.

"They didn't ask for a business license," he said. "They have a plan 
but there was no specific ask."

In any event, McCormick says it will be somewhat familiar territory 
for Council as they have just dealt with Tamarack Dispensaries. But 
Council may not be ready to grant another business license for 
another medical marijuana dispensary.

"My feeling, and I haven't polled Council yet, is we want to give 
Tamarack some time so we can learn from them."

Kimberley was the first municipality in the province to grant a 
business license to a business of this type but McCormick says it was 
simply done to support a local entrepreneur.

"We are not advocating for the industry, just following a request for 
support from a local business.

"It really is a grey area. The police have chosen not to enforce it, 
particularly in Vancouver, because the courts have not moved to 
convict on these charges. The police are not taking action and 
municipalities are generally turning a blind eye to these businesses 
operating without a license. Until there is a clear, legislative 
direction, that is likely to continue."

A few days after Kimberley granted the business license to Tamarack 
Dispensaries, Vancouver City Council announced it would deal with the 
issue through bylaws, which McCormick said he was glad to see.

While Kimberley issuing the business license was duly noted around 
the province, McCormick says it's really not a big deal.

"The business license is a recognition that a business is being 
allowed to open. There is no legality around it. It is representative 
of a business's legitimacy."

As for a number of medical marijuana dispensaries potentially wanting 
to set up in Kimberley, they will be dealt with on a business by 
business basis, though McCormick says competition is not really an issue.

"An awful lot of this business is done through mail order. Even if we 
had half a dozen of them in the community, much is mail order. It's 
big business. I read the other day that there are 50,000 people in 
Canada with prescriptions for medical marijuana. That's a big number."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom