Pubdate:  Sat,07 Mar 1998
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (Canada)
Author: Bill Cleverly Times Colonist Staff

Victoria city hall apparently is backing off on pulling the business
licence of sacred Herb - The Hemp Shop.

Victoria police had recommended council consider the move because of owner
Ian Hunter's conviction last year on marijuana charges.

Hunter, Victoria's best known marijuana advocate, was convicted and fined
$500 in B.C. Supreme Court for possession of marijuana for the purpose of
trafficking, cultivation of marijuana - plants he grew in his store - and
possession of marijuana.

Because of the conviction, police said that Hunter's business licence
"falls into the parameters of a person who should not have a business

Mayor Bob Cross says council has not discussed the specifics of the police
recommendation, but he doubts that the city would move to pull Hunter's

"My opinion is it would have to be a last resort to actually shut someone
down. So I think we're being tolerant at this point," Cross said.

"I think advice was that his business licence licence operation wasn't
directly related to the concerns the police had," Cross said. "So unless we
are told otherwise, I don't see us moving forward."

Hunter, meanwhile, said he hasn't received his 1998 business licence from
city hall yet but he's been told by staff not to worry about it.

"They seem awfully friendly to me right now and they also told me not worry
about my business licence. Just operate as you usually do."

Coincidentally, Sacred Herb - The Hemp Shop is celebrating its third
anniversary today. At 2 p.m. paper will be pulled from the downtown store's
window, marking a similar ceremony that was held three years ago.

Hunter is appealing his convictions. During the court case he argued that
Canada's marijuana laws are archaic.

He openly grew the marijuana in his store window in an effort to get
arrested  as part of his efforts to change the marijuana laws.