Pubdate: Wed, 18 May 2016
Source: Chilliwack Progress (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 The Chilliwack Progress
Author: Jennifer Feinberg


Chilliwack WeeMedical Dispensary Society has until June 1 to respond
to a court injunction from City of Chilliwack seeking to keep them
closed permanently after two raids.

Court injunction papers were served May 11, according to city
officials, and WeeMedical officials were given 21 days to respond.

The goal is to prevent WeeMedical dispensary from continuing to sell
medical marijuana from a Chilliwack storefront, after being issued
fines of more than $44,000 to the business, and landlords.

"We'll keep fining them and looking at all our other legal options,"
said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. "These are the only tools we have right now
to bring them into compliance."

The WeeMedical dispensary was shut down twice this spring, for being
in contravention of city bylaws, and operating without a business
licence. They were raided by RCMP both times for criminal code

WeeMedical spokesperson May Joan Liu said they are planning to submit
a "lengthy defence" to the court injunction, even though they are also
applying at the same time to reopen in the same site as a wellness

"Obviously we are going to defend ourselves," Liu said. "We are not
even open and they are trying to make sure we don't ever open."

In the meantime they have filed another business licence application
for a "wellness centre" at the site on Fifth Avenue, in order to
honour their lease obligations.

"We are waiting to hear on that," Liu said.

Their plan is to sell gluten-free, vegan and organic food, she

The Chilliwack mayor stated that she'll be happy when "this fight is
over" in a broad sense. It's become quite a quandary for many
communities, struggling in the absence of a new regulatory framework
for medical marijuana.

"Municipalities are in a state of disarray without the rules in place
for this. It puts us in a very difficult position, spending money to
fight court cases against something that is clearly illegal, even
though things are changing," she said.

So when and if it all becomes regulated, it will be a relief, said

What about other communities that turn a blind eye to marijuana
dispensaries operating within their borders?

"I can't speak for other communities," Gaetz said. "We will uphold our
bylaws and the RCMP enforces the Criminal Code. Fines are always a
last resort but sometimes they are the only way to bring an illegal
business into compliance."

If they were to obtain a business licence by selling legal products
like gluten-free food, the "no occupancy" order would be lifted, and
the bright orange "no occupancy" sign would be removed. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D