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BC:Penticton marijuana club unlicensed by city

by papapuff » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:17 am

City of Penticton staff recommend prohibition of marijuana dispensaries

Instead, staff recommend two of them fall into compliance as a wellness centre

KRISTI PATTONMon Jul 17th, 2017

Staff at city hall are recommending the City of Penticton prohibit marijuana dispensaries and instead recommend two of them fall into compliance as a wellness centre.

Council had deferred their decision on the extension of temporary use permits for cannabis dispensaries at their meeting on July 4 after councillors voted down a motion to deny the permits. The dispensaries were asking to extend their permits beyond the six-month trial that council voted in favour of in December.

City staff recommended to deny the extensions.

In a report that will be presented to city council this Tuesday, city staff are now recommending council give a direction for staff to work with legal counsel to permit Green Essence and Okanagan Cannabinoid Therapy to obtain compliance as a wellness centre through a consent order under the civil action process. With that, staff also recommend that council resolve to prohibit marijuana dispensaries in the City of Penticton until such time as the federal and provincial governments lawfully permit such use.

A wellness centre is a storefront that would provide information on accessing medical cannabis and lobby for marijuana legalization. The report to city council states the business could sell marijuana paraphernalia, including pipes and accessories, but can not actually sell cannabis products.

At their last meeting council heard that a justice ruled on a Abbotsford case regarding cannabis dispensaries and business license. The justice decided that the City of Abbotsford had jurisdiction to refuse a business licence on the basis of the dispensary not being lawful, setting a legal precedent for others. However, a lawyer for Okanagan Cannaboid Therapy said that same issue is being appealed at the B.C. Supreme Court, alleging the attorney general “rushed to complete conclusion.”
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by papapuff » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:49 pm

Pot shops left to RCMP

Colin Dacre - Jul 20, 2017


Penticton’s mayor says the decision to end the city’s experiment with licensing marijuana dispensaries brings the community in line with what is going on elsewhere in the Okanagan.

Andrew Jakubeit made the comments during this week’s Mayor’s Minute, adding the steps they took seven months ago were meant to be an “in between step” until legalization took place.

“At the end of the day, the Prime Minister is still saying the sale of marijuana is illegal and it's for the RCMP to enforce.”

Jakubeit said ending the permitting system also makes it a bit more “consistent in terms of injunctive action or for the RCMP.”

He pointed to a trio of letters sent in March by the Penticton RCMP, ordering both the two licensed dispensaries and an unlicensed shop to shut down, noting the local police consider them all illegal, permits or not.

Penticton city council created the licensing system in response to a sudden proliferation of dispensaries in the city in an attempt to regulate and keep them in check, in absence of police enforcement.

That appears to have worked partially, with just Jukka Laurio’s Herbal Greens defying the system and staying open after missing out a permit.

All three shops will be asked to transition to a “wellness centre” model, which would be able facilitate medical cannabis and sell paraphernalia, but not actually sell the drug.

With numerous dispensaries across the province operating and selling cannabis under a “wellness centre” banner, Jakubeit said bylaw and police would be expected to enforce the law should a local shop decide to continue to distribute cannabis.

“It is something for the RCMP to enforce, and the level of enforcement is a question best answered by Superintendent Ted De Jager.”

The Penticton RCMP have repeatedly declined elaborate on the issue in the past.
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by papapuff » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:33 am

Pentiction Western News

Dispensary owner bows out of battle with city

Jukka Laurio and the city have confirmed that he is changing the operation without a dispensary

DUSTIN GODFREYWed Aug 30th, 2017

A battle between one of Penticton’s pot shops and city hall appears to have come to a halt — at least for the time being.

Both Jukka Laurio, operator of the Herbal Green Apothecary, and City of Penticton development services director Anthony Haddad have confirmed that the two are working together to close the dispensary in favour of a natural health products store.

“We’re changing operations as you speak,” Laurio said from his store Thursday morning. “We’re turning into a hemp and CBD supply, natural products, herbal remedies. The original store. Teas and that kind of thing. Shampoos, soaps. Health care products.”

The progress made between the two has resulted in a tentative pause on injunctive actions by the city against Laurio in court, with the two previously set to go to court in late July. According to court documents, however, the hearing was adjourned indefinitely.

“We’re going to be working with him and his representatives to go through the process to create a wellness centre on that property,” Haddad said. “To hopefully circumvent going through the court process.”

Haddad said all three dispensaries currently operating in the city are working with city hall on a process that would shut down their operations selling medical cannabis in favour of a wellness centre model, which would aid patients looking to legally obtain the product through federally approved distributors.

An operator of Green Essence confirmed he is working with the city on the issue, though it was unclear what steps he will take at this time, and declined to comment further.

Okanagan Cannabinoid Therapy has repeatedly declined to comment on the issue in the past, and an effort to speak to operators was, again, declined on Thursday.

Laurio said he isn’t aware of what the other dispensaries are working toward, but said he will continue to keep the Rush In and Finish Cafe separate from the Herbal Green Apothecary, which he said will include a pot museum.

“We’re going to set up a store that’s a store, and they’ll do their thing, I’ll do mine, and the business will run and they can run the city,” Laurio said, adding it feels good to find a resolution.

“There’s a lot of other things I’ve been meaning to do, and planning to do, which are more important than a dispensary, but it was just all-consuming.”

But it’s not the first time Laurio indicated he was bowing out of the fight — in April, he closed the store after the RCMP issued letters to all three dispensaries threatening police action if the dispensaries continued to operate.

After some period of time, Laurio opened up shop again, after the RCMP failed to take action on other dispensaries that remained open.

The move to wellness centres comes after council voted 5-2 against renewing the temporary use permits for the two previously approved dispensaries last month.

With one month passed, the dispensaries now have two more months to cease dispensary operations.
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