The West Kelowna store front of Black Crow Herbals, a marijuana dispensary the City of West Kelowna is planning to cancel a business license for. - Image: West Kelowna

2017’s Top Stories: Cities battle marijuana dispensaries

One of the top stories of the year was the results of the pending legalization of marijuana

With marijuana legalization on the horizon in 2018, local governments moved to prepare for it by stepping up their battle with pot dispensaries in 2017.

Both the City of Kelowna and West Kelowna took steps to shut down marijuana dispensaries operating in their respective city’s this year.

In West Kelowna the city first cancelled business licences of several dispensaries they said were operating illegally in the city limits. When that failed to work the city moved to the courts, filing a petition to the court asking that the shops be forced to close down.

Dispensary operators appeared at West Kelowna council during the year with one representative saying they would keep operating.

“We are not going to abandon our patients, we are going to be here for our patients,” said representative Selina Lau.

Meanwhile, the City of Kelowna followed suit after West Kelowna’s court petition, filing suit in the courts over what they claimed was the illegal operation of dispensaries within city limits

Kelowna corporate and protective services director Rob Mayne said the move to shut down the illegal operations was made after letters telling the businesses to stop were ignored.

“We felt a court injunction would be the quickest way to achieve compliance,” said Mayne.

The dispensaries included in the legal action are Ross’s Gold, Weeds, TLC Herbal Meds, Trichrome Valley RX and Starbuds, said Mayne.

One dispensary started an online petition looking for the public’s support.

In the petition, spokesperson Rob Lindsay says the dispensaries are a medical service that many locals rely on as part of their cancer treatment program and the city’s legal action flies in the face of a Supreme Court ruling that advocates the accessibility to medical cannabis.

“It also is a significant waste of community resources considering that cannabis is slated for legalization on July 1, 2018,” he said.

With the disputes in Kelowna and West Kelowna continuing, near the end of the year the province of B.C. announced its distribution method for cannabis, saying it will set the legal smoking age at 19 to coincide with the minimum age for alcohol and tobacco and that pot will be sold in both private businesses and in government run stores.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Okanagan rinks have mixed results as BC Seniors Curling finals begin

A total of 15 rinks are competing in Vernon for right to go to nationals in Manitoba

‘The NDP of the ’90s is back’: Kelowna-Lake Country MLA voices concerns over 2020 budget

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick said the new budget is “classic NDP tax-and-spend”

Canadian Air Force joins Okanagan rescue of missing Kelowna snowmobiler

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

City of Kelowna signs UNHCR statement of solidarity with refugees

The #WithRefugees campaign invites cities working to promote inclusion and support refugees

Aquilini Group addresses heating complaints at SOPA Square in Kelowna

Some store owners have been without heat at development for up to a month

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Town of Osoyoos voices support for proposed casino

Osoyoos council voted to submit a letter of support for a proposed casino on OIB land

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read