Penticton businesses nip dispensaries in the bud

Over 95 per cent of the responses so far are not in favour of the permits being accepted by council.

Most Downtown Penticton Association members are not supporting temporary use permits for marijuana dispensaries in downtown Penticton, according to a recent DPA survey.

The DPA sent out a survey, both via email and hand-delivered, to hundreds of members last week following a board of directors meeting.

Read more: Seven marijuana dispensaries wanting to open in Penticton

“The board got together and there was some discussion and basically the stance that the DPA is taking is that it will not endorse or support the illegal use, temporary or otherwise, of any retail space in downtown Penticton,” said Lynn Allin, executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association. “Currently it’s just not legal and it’s just very difficult for an association or organization to go against the law.”

At least seven organizations are applying for temporary use permits from the city at the Dec. 6 council meeting, six of which are located downtown. The federal government promising to reform laws surrounding the use and sale of marijuana as early as this spring.

“This is new territory, all in all, for everybody I think. It’s a little unfair the municipalities have to determine their own regulations and rules around something that doesn’t have a federal law backing it up,” Allin said. “That’s why I decided to take it to our DPA members to get a feel for if they are for this idea or not in favour of this idea.”

Hundreds of responses to the survey were received from DPA members, Allin said.

Over 95 per cent of the responses so far are not in favour of the permits being accepted by council, others are not in favour until federal laws are in place. Some responses were in favour of dispensaries, but not all being located downtown, Allin said.

“So location is an issue, some were saying yes we’re in favour of it, but what are the regulations. Should it fall under the same guides as the liquor licensing. Lots of different comments,” Allin said.

The information will be presented to city staff and City Council prior to the Dec. 6 meeting.