Pubdate: Wed, 17 Aug 2016
Source: Nelson Star (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Black Press
Author: Will Johnson


Illegal storefront opens on Victoria St. in the same building as El

Nelson's marijuana dispensary count has skyrocketed to at least eight
- - now that the Green Room Society has opened up next door to El Taco
on Victoria St - despite the fact they're currently illegal.

The latest addition to the local cannabis industry created little or
no fanfare when it opened this summer. It's located across the street
from the mural recently painted by Burning Man artist ShrineOn, and
within throwing distance of eateries such as Thor's Pizzeria and
Smokewood BBQ - a proximity that residents are sure to take full
advantage of.

Mayor Deb Kozak has expressed interest in funnelling marijuana funds
into the community. During a recent meeting of the Union of British
Columbia Municipalities, she said the booming market could be a
financial boon.

"That money could be well used in serving communities," she said,
before putting forward a resolution that will be debated at a meeting
in September. It urges her fellow politicians to petition Ottawa for a
share of the revenues realized from the legalization and regulation of

The city isn't currently granting business licenses to these
operations, though a number of them are collecting sales tax. City
manager Kevin Cormack previously told the Star that though Nelson is
looking at the examples of Vancouver and Kimberley for guidance on how
to proceed, they're waiting for the federal government to move forward
with legalization before acting.

According to Nelson's manager of development services Pam Mierau the
city is "in the process of amending the business licence bylaw to
allow council the ability to better regulate the sale of medical
marijuana. Given the uncertainty around what the federal government is
going to do, it's a bit unclear what approach municipalities should

The eight dispensaries the Star is aware of are currently clustered
primarily on Front St. and Baker St. MP Wayne Stetski has criticized
the government for not moving faster and putting local entrepreneurs
in uncomfortable positions.

"This is putting both entrepreneurs and the public into a state of
confusion," he said.

"This whole thing is in total chaos. Marijuana needs to be
decriminalized now, and we as the NDP are proposing that those who
have been jailed for simple possession should have their records expunged."
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MAP posted-by: Matt