Pubdate: Wed, 08 Nov 2017
Source: Kelowna Capital News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017, West Partners Publishing Ltd.
Author: Alistair Waters


Five of the six marijuana dispensaries located in West Kelowna are
defying the city's order to shut down.

And, as a result, they are each facing hefty fines that, if left
unpaid, could result in court action.

A week after the deadline the city gave the dispensaries to wrap up
their operations in West Kelowna, only one has complied. So the city
has started fining the dispensaries $1,000 a day each for contravening
city bylaws.

According to the city, West Kelowna bylaw officers visited the six
dispensaries Nov. 1 and only one said it has stopped dispensing marijuana.

Last month, the city cancelled the business license of two
dispensariesoperating in the city-Black Crow Herbals and The Healing

During presentations to council in October, representatives of both
Black Crow and The Healing Club asked council to hold off on any
decision until it is known how the province plans to proceed with the
distribution and retail of marijuana in B.C. once it is legalized in
Canada by the federal government July 1, 2018.

West Kelowna has told the province it would like to see Victoria
handle the sale of marijuana through government stores.

In making its decision to cancel the business licences, city council
refused the request of the dispensaries representatives and said their
business operations in West Kelowna must stop immediately.

A director of Black Crow-which also has a dispensary in Vernon-vowed
to continue doing business in West Kelowna despite the cancellation of
the business licence.

The city said at the time it was also writing to the four other
dispensaries in West Kelowna-which operate as non-profit
groups-telling them to stop selling marijuana by Nov. 1.

It's not clear how long the city will continue to fine the
dispensaries before taking them to court or referring the fines to a
collection company.

The RCMP has told West Kelowna council in the past the operation of
marijuana dispensaries is currently illegal. But rather than have to
the police shut down the dispensaries following an investigation,
council opted to go via the cancellation of the business licence route
because it was quicker, said Coun. Bryden Winsby.
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