Pot sales coming before Penticton city council

The owner of a Penticton marijuana dispensary is scheduled to appear before council at a public hearing on Tuesday

Jukka Laurio will have his day, if not in court, at least at a public venue.

Laurio, owner of the Rush in and Finish Café and the associated Herbal Green Apothecary, is scheduled to appear before council at a public hearing on Tuesday to defend his practice of selling medical marijuana through the apothecary.

Laurio was the first of four Penticton business operators selling marijuana the City of Penticton took action against recently. In Laurio’s case, that was the suspension of his business licence, which triggered the special public hearing giving him a chance to appeal directly to council.

Read more: Crackdown on Penticton marijuana shops moving forward

The hearing will be held in council chambers at City Hall on July 19 at 3 p.m. Seating will be limited.

Ken Kunka, the city’s building and permitting manager, said  the city has taken action against three other operations, including issuing a no occupancy notice to the Starbuds shop.

Legalizing marijuana sales  have been promised by the federal government, which announced a nine-man task force on June 30 to develop the new legislation, possibly by next spring. Until that is in place, however,  storefront sales of marijuana remain illegal and the city cannot issue a business licence for something contradictory to Canadian laws.

The Town of Osoyoos announced via a press release July 6 that they will be holding a public hearing to gather input on a zoning amendment bylaw prohibiting retail marijuana operations, after previously shutting down a Starbuds branch in June. Their hearing will be on July 18 at the Town of Osoyoos Council Chambers at 4 p.m.

Read more: Penticton pot shops continue to operate in limbo