Pubdate: Fri, 17 Feb 2017
Source: Penticton Western (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Penticton Western
Author: Bob Jaenicke


We would like to respond to a recent article (Penticton Western News,
Feb. 8, Some dispensaries'thumbing their noses' at the city rules)
which Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said we are 'thumbing our nose' at the
city by operating without a business license.

Firstly, we can appreciate the concerns of citizens who are unfamiliar
with the medical benefits of cannabis products and the service that a
professional dispensary provides. This is a new type of business for
many communities and there are still old perceptions that all users
are hippies and kids just getting high. The majority of our customers
are adults over the age of 50 who are seeking help with medical issues
such as arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, MS, glaucoma, seizures and pain

There has never been a death due to marijuana use recorded in Canada
ever, whereas alcohol, some prescription medicines and even fast foods
are responsible for deaths on a daily basis. Our products are safe and
of the highest quality, available in a variety of forms, and our staff
are knowledgeable in proper usage. Adult consumers who want safe,
dignified access to natural alternative products instead of harmful
synthetic drugs should have that choice, as stated by the Supreme
Court of Canada. Without safe, professional dispensaries, adults and
seniors looking for relief for their ailment are forced to purchase
marijuana from unknown sources, in unsafe situations.

Our business is not seedy and does not in any way contribute to any
unseemly activity in the neighbourhood. We only sell product to mature
adults over 21 with a valid medical need. We set up a store in
Penticton so that our 3,000-plus customers in the area wouldn't have
to drive to Vernon or West Kelowna. We waited until we were able to go
through the proper municipal business permitting process before opening.

We understand that city council wants to limit the number of
dispensaries in town, but we do not agree with the process they used.
Two dispensaries who operated without permission previously were
granted an operating permit, while our business was not. We met the
exact same criteria and paid our $800 application fee. We received no
reason why and to date have not received an acknowledgment of the two
letters and meeting requests sent to mayor and council to appeal their
decision. Granting permits to a select few raises concerns of
discriminatory practices and has established a monopoly which only
creates higher pricing for the consumer.

The local taxpayer will be on the hook for the various legal
challenges likely to occur as a result of these decisions by Penticton
City Council, as has been discovered by Vancouver City Council who
reportedly spends on average $10,000 in legal fees to fight one $500

It is time that the federal government move to decriminalize marijuana
and clear up the legal confusion for municipalities and law
enforcement and allow its citizens safe, dignified access to a natural
herb that has been helping people for centuries.

Bob Jaenicke

Okanagan Cannabis Solutions
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