City to come down ‘heavy’ on marijuana dispensaries without licence

Penticton mayor said anyone operating without a licence will be fined or injunctive action taken.

Any medical marijuana dispensaries thinking about setting up shop in Penticton before legalization and a regulation framework is in place should rethink their plans.

Any medical marijuana dispensaries thinking about setting up shop in Penticton before legalization and a regulation framework is in place should rethink their plans.

“We’ve only authorized two temporary use permits, mainly so people would have access to medical marijuana until more regulations come into play,” said Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, adding that until that happens, only those two dispensaries will be allowed.

“Any one who is operating without a business licence, we are going to be coming down heavy with fines and/or injunctive action,” said Jakubeit.

Early in December, council reviewed seven applications to operate marijuana dispensaries under heavily-regulated temporary use permits, approving two that had been operating previously and shown willingness to work with the city.

Okanagan Cannabis Solutions was not one of the approved applicants, but have recently begun putting up signage in a storefront at 575 Main St.

“Bylaw has sent them a letter saying you have to take your signs down by Jan. 6,” said Jakubeit. Groups that try to work around the city’s temporary regulations, he continued, may have a more difficult time getting approval after legalization.

“If it is similar to the liquor licensing branch then all referrals have to come through the city for endorsement,” said Jakubeit. “When it comes into fruition and you need councils support, if you’ve done nothing, but defy what the city is doing, then you may not get that support.

Read more: City gives the nod to marijuana dispensaries

Jakubeit said there are likely to be many group waiting in the wings who also see legalization as an opportunity.

“I am sure we are going to get lots of applications in there and there is only going to be a limited number of openings and locations,” said Jakubeit, noting that Okanagan Cannabis Solutions has sent a letter to council asking them to reconsider their application.

“At the moment, we’re not reconsidering any of those temporary use permits. We made a decision on two,” said Jakubeit, who expects that in six months there may be more of a framework from the federal government and the city will revisit policies, bylaws and zoning, which will be one of the city’s main tools to control numbers and the placement of dispensaries.

Jakubeit encourages all those who are interested in operating a dispensary to  comply and wait until the city is ready to take on more under new policies.

Read more: Penticton nips dispensaries in the bud

He expects it will be a similar framework to the way liquor is governed, with restrictions of how far apart they need to be, how close they can be to schools and other factors.

Jukka Laurio, who operates Herbal Green Apothecary, another of the applications council turned down for a permit, is trying a different tack, wanting to set up a licenced medical marijuana production facility.

Jakubeit said there have been a few inquiries about establishing a licensed grow facility under Health Canada guidelines. It would have been classed as an industrial use, and the city would have been receptive, he said, but none have followed through, possibly due to the difficulty of obtaining the federal production license.

“Having accepted ‘medical marijuana,’ supporting its distribution through a legally grey area of the law, acknowledging the community need, the time has come for Penticton city council to do something that is actually legal,” wrote Laurio in a letter to city council.

According to Jakubeit, this is the first he has heard of Laurio’s plans.

“I think he alleges this has been in the works for a long period of time. He has never made a formal application, so that is sort of news to us,” said Jakubeit, who isn’t sure Laurio’s plans are practical.

“I think he wants to do it in the same building, using a back room,” said Jakubeit. “I am not sure you can have your production and your retail in the same location.”

 

Just Posted

Penticton cyclist injured in hit-and-run in critical condition

Jesse Birkedal was injured in a hit-and-run while cycling on Eastside Road

Vehicle smashes sign and cars in Summerland school parking lot

Driver of a Ford Expedition lost control, crashing into two other vehicles

Top classic car show cruises back into Penticton

Peach City Beach Cruise runs June 21 to 23 in Penticton

Update: Penticton fire in mop up mode at Greenwood Forest Products

An employee said as he was coming in for his shift at around 4:39 a.m. he heard a loud explosion

Permits for sale at former Penticton Greyhound depot turned into parking lot

Permits for parking spots in the newly created parking lot at 307 Ellis St. now are on sale

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Man arrested during Kelowna police stand off

Water is flooding Highway 33 in Kelowna Monday afternoon

Judas Priest rocks the Okanagan

Judas Priest is on a 32 date tour of North America

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

‘I had to take two competency exams and pay over $1,400,’ said an Okanagan care aide

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Most Read