Pubdate: Fri, 06 Oct 2017
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Times Colonist
Author: Katie DeRosa
Page: A2


Courtenay's mayor has received death threats from people upset that
the RCMP shut down the community's first cannabis dispensary.

Mayor Larry Jangula said someone posted online comments threatening to
shoot him after inaccurate information that he had directed Comox
Valley RCMP to raid Leaf Compassion dispensary on Wednesday circulated
on social media.

"It's been a very upsetting day," Jangula said.

He said he has been threatened during his 27-year policing career, but
never in his role as mayor.

"I am surprised by the ignorance and the misinformation that is out
there that this raid was directed by the mayor's office," he said.
"It's actually a Criminal Code matter and a police matter. It's not a
matter for the mayor."

The RCMP's drug section raided the pot shop on Fourth Street three
days after it opened. Mounties seized marijuana, marijuana derivatives
and cash. Three employees were arrested and released without charge.

The dispensary was operating without a business licence.

Owner Kyle Cheyne, who operates Leaf Compassion dispensaries in
Victoria and Port Alberni, said RCMP warned employees that they would
return with a warrant for Cheyne's arrest if the store reopened.

The pot shop did reopen on Thursday, but employees did not stock any
product. Would-be customers came in to sign a petition in support of
the dispensary, Cheyne said.

Cheyne said he tried to talk to Jangula before opening the

"The mayor is refusing to talk to anyone about cannabis at all," he
said. "He didn't want to work with us."

Cheyne said he is going to apply for a special business licence for
the dispensary. If it's rejected, he'll appeal so that the matter will
go before mayor and council.

Janugula said it's illegal to have anything other than a designated
medical marijuanadispensary anywhere in Canada.

"I know there are municipalities that have done so, but it's against
the law," he said.

There is no legal mechanism for marijuana dispensaries or compassion
clubs to sell cannabis to the public, even if customers or vendors
have permission from Health Canada to possess or produce marijuana,
said Const. Rob Gardner, spokesman for Comox Valley RCMP.

Until the federal government legalizes recreational cannabis in July
2018, medical cannabis can be purchased only through the mail from
Health Canada-approved licensed producers.

The City of Victoria is allowing cannabis dispensaries to apply for
rezoning and a business licence. However, it has not been smooth
sailing. The city has filed court injunctions to force some unlicensed
dispensaries to close and is facing a lawsuit from one dispensary that
was denied a business licence.

A pot shop that popped up in Langford in January received considerable
attention from West Shore RCMP and bylaw officers. The City of
Langford took the owners to court to permanently shutter the
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