Pubdate: Tue, 10 Oct 2017
Source: Daily Courier, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: Ron Seymour
Page: A1


City council today expected to rescind business licences for 2
marijuana dispensaries

The owners of two West Kelowna pot shops today face the revocation of
their business licence and subsequent closure.

City council is expected to rescind licences for Black Crow Herbals
and The Healing Company, a move staff say would force the businesses
to close.

"(T)he licence holder has engaged in the illegal dispensing of
cannabis, which is in contravention of the Criminal Code of Canada or
the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act," reads the identical wording
in two separate staff reports to be considered at today's council meeting.

"Cancellation of the business licence will result in requiring the
business to close immediately," reads part of the reports, prepared by
three senior City of West Kelowna managers.

The lengthy reports include many photographs taken at the two pot
shops, which show a variety of products with labels such as THC Oil,
Blue B Haze, God's Ink and Death Bubba.

In their licensing applications, the owners of both stores say they
are "private clubs" that sell so-called medicinal marijuana and are
open only to members.

"We are committed to providing safe access to high quality medical
cannabis products for our qualified patient and caregiver members,"
Black Crow's website says.

Like many Canadian cities, West Kelowna has been grappling with a
proliferation of storefront marijuana operations in the past few years.

While the use of marijuana with a doctor's prescription is legal, the
sale of it is not, West Kelowna council heard earlier this year.

"There is no such thing as having tolerance for marijuana
dispensaries," West Kelowna RCMP Staff Sgt. Lesli Roseberry wrote in a
letter to council in January. "Simply put, these dispensaries are illegal."

Once a business licence is revoked, the owners of the business could
be fined $500 for every day they remain open, under new regulations
approved last month by West Kelowna city council.

The federal government has announced it will legalize marijuana use,
but the ways in which it will be sold will be left to the provincial
governments. British Columbia's NDP government has announced a
consultation period to hear from the public on how pot should be sold.
Until now, operators of many pot shops have been essentially betting
they will be allowed to remain open and stay where they are once
marijuana is legalized.

The owners of the two West Kelowna pot shops that face loss of their
licence have been told of staff's recommendation and have been invited
to appear at the council meeting.

"Before considering the cancellation or suspension of a business
licence, council must give the licence holder notice of the proposed
actions and an opportunity to be heard," the report states.

Black Crow has been operating at Unit 4, 1515 Westgate Rd., since
2014. Also in business since 2014, The Healing Company is based at
Unit 9, 1385 Stevens Rd.

None of the five people listed as directors of the two companies live
in West Kelowna, according to information on the business licences.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt