Pubdate: Fri, 02 Dec 2016
Source: Penticton Western (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Penticton Western
Author: Amanda Stewart


As the proprietor of Valley Hemp Co., I have some deep thoughts on
the matter (Penticton Western News, Nov. 30, Members of DPA nip
dispensaries in the bud).

Currently, we have completely unregulated operations selling
completely unregulated products. These may have medicinal benefits,
but administered improperly can be dangerous, or even downright
charlatanism, potions that make outrageous and untrue claims and have
little or no active ingredients.

RCMP can bust these shops, charging both staff and proprietors, and
sometimes those staff are left hung out to dry by the owners and deal
with the charges on their own.

Because it is a cash only industry, it's a big risk for violent

We (Valley Hemp) have made the decision to only sell legal products in
the two shops, but investigated becoming a dispensary. The high risk
to staff, family and neighbourhood businesses made us decide to wait
until there is federal law change, not just charge ahead.

That being said, if these dispensaries decide they should sell all our
same tobacco products, we will simply be the only head shop in town
that doesn't sell weed. Just because I've chosen to operate in the
current system of laws and keep my staff safe. This can mean an uphill
competition battle for us and the seven staff and their families that
I employ. An unfair one, I feel.

We are really good at what we do, our staff is very knowledgeable and
our products are proven, I know we can handle competition, I'm just
not a fan of unfair competition. And my other deep thought is that a
seldom used charge is "conspiracy to traffick" and it covers even
talking about future drug trafficking as a crime. This could make the
city and landlords complicit upon licensing, especially with a high
fee, as acknowledged traffickers.

I feel that if the council can get in writing an assurance of legality
of these enterprises from the RCMP, they should limit dispensaries to
simply dispensing green herb, not edibles, tinctures or oils, which
people can prepare themselves, and is where most of the snake oil type
claims come from. It could be a good thing. but risky, for owners,
staff, corporate neighbours and others.

Amanda Stewart

- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt