Pubdate: Fri, 18 Mar 2016
Source: Coast Reporter (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Coast Reporter
Author: Christine Wood



A back room at 420 Hemp Shop on Cowrie Street was repurposed and a 
dispensary dubbed Coastal Meds was opened on March 9, bringing the 
total number of medical marijuana dispensary storefronts in Sechelt to three.

Coastal Meds joins Weeds Glass and Gifts and WeeMedical, all selling 
various strains of marijuana and marijuana products to those who can 
prove their need with a doctor's note.

Keith Duggan, manager at the 420 Hemp Shop, said the store decided to 
open a dispensary after months of prodding from their customer base.

"This happened because Weeds was there and the minute Weeds actually 
even showed up our existing clientele were saying, 'Why are you guys 
not doing this? You guys have been here forever, you guys should be 
offering dispensary services.' Weeds has been around for over a year 
now but it took us a long time to do the research, to see the 
direction the country was going, to watch everybody else all over 
Canada open up stores," Duggan said.

"If the little guy wants to have any shot you might need to take a 
little bit of risk. You need to get in."

Duggan said the idea was to reorganize the store and repurpose a back 
storage area for a small dispensary that would complement the store's 
existing business.

"It seemed like a natural step," he said.

Coastal Meds now sells cannabinoid gum, oil, wax, THC bath bombs, TCH 
pills, marijuana seeds and three different strains of marijuana.

Within one week of opening, the store had given out 40 membership 
applications and had six registered members.

420 Hemp Shop is the only store with a dispensary in Sechelt that 
also has a business licence for the non-medicinal-marijuana side of 
its operation, which was established in 2002.

Weeds Glass and Gifts is still waiting for its business licence and 
signage approval, according to Weeds manager Robin Kehler, and Keir 
MacPherson of WeeMedical said his store doesn't need a business 
licence because it operates as a non-profit society.

The District of Sechelt doesn't currently offer a medical marijuana 
dispensary business licence, as the act of selling medicinal 
marijuana falls under federal jurisdiction, enforced on the Coast by 
the RCMP. But Sechelt council plans to ask for a report on the issue 
from staff soon, according to acting mayor Alice Lutes.

The Sunshine Coast RCMP have not taken any action against the 
medicinal pot shops in Sechelt, but Const. Harrison Mohr said RCMP 
will "continue to monitor the local dispensaries and prioritize 
enforcement action as appropriate."

Kehler thinks three medical marijuana dispensaries in Sechelt is too 
much and he fears RCMP may be forced to act if they feel too many 
dispensaries are selling in Sechelt.

He clarified this week that his store has been supplying medical 
marijuana to the public for 11 months now and said police have left 
him alone up to this point.

"Clearly this has gone way beyond supplying reasonable access and 
there is absolutely no need for three dispensaries in the small 
village at this time," Kehler said.

"I maintain there is only enough business in this village to keep the 
doors open for six and a half hours a day with one person working."

WeeMedical is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon 
to 6 p.m. on Sunday and has three staff members, while Coastal Meds 
at 420 Hemp Shop has no dedicated staff members (staff from the hemp 
shop help when customers come in to the dispensary) and is open 
Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Weeds is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Kehler 
is the only person on staff.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom