Pubdate: Wed, 08 Feb 2017
Source: Prince George Citizen (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Prince George Citizen
Author: Mark Nielsen
Page: A1


Prince George RCMP shut down two suspected pot dispensaries in less
than a week.

The first, located in the 700 block of Fourth Avenue, was closed by
police on Feb. 3 and the second, in the 1400 block of Third Avenue,
was closed three days later, RCMP said Tuesday.

The stores appeared to have gotten ahead of themselves as, despite
signaling its intention to do so, the federal government has not yet
legalized marijuana.

And while Vancouver, which has its own police force, has passed bylaws
to regulate the businesses, "any municipality that allows this to
occur does so at its own risk because it's going against federal
legislation," City of Prince George spokesman Mike Kellett said.

Neither of the outlets was operating with a business licence from the

In 2015, council amended the zoning bylaw to limit Health
Canada-approved marijuana grow operations to the BCR, Danson and
Boundary Road industrial sites and properties in the Agricultural Land
Reserve larger than 15 hectares.

That same year, council turned down a request for a temporary use
permit for a group proposing to establish a medical marijuana
distribution business on Nicholson Street in the light industrial area.

There was no intent to grow marijuana, only to store the dried product
for shipment by courier to licensed prescription patients.

"The RCMP is guided by existing laws and legislation. We recognize the
current complexities surrounding the potential for future legislative
changes, however the RCMP is tasked with enforcing the laws of Canada
as they exist today" Prince George RCMP Supt. Warren Brown said in a

"I can tell you that Prince George RCMP investigators gathered
evidence of possible offences under the Criminal Code of Canada and
the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and took enforcement actions

Charges have not yet been laid.
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