Almost half of illegal cannabis fines in B.C. are in the Thompson-Okanagan

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While the numbers are not large in terms of offences, the dollar values are substantial for people busted for illegal cannabis sales in B.C.

Since pot was legalized for sale in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018, there have been seven penalties issued by B.C.’s Community Safety Unit.

Of those, two were in Kamloops and one was near Oliver. Penalties for the three totaled almost $190,000.

The most recent ruling, on April 8, was against Charles McCarthy who was operating a storefront called Boomer’s Bud at #107 – 1295 12th St. in Kamloops.

The Community Safety Unit visited the store on April 30, 2019 as an “education inspection.”

The business was also known as, or referred to as, Da Kine Weed Glass and Gifts, Weeds Glass and Gifts and Weeds, according to a page on the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General website.

On July 31, 2019 the Community Safety Unit visited again on its “first enforcement inspection” and seized cannabis.

It did another inspection on Sept. 4 and seized more cannabis.

An administrative penalty equal to twice the value of the seized cannabis was issued. That totalled $86,916.

The other Kamloops case dealt with Canadian Weeds Cannabis Society that “sold cannabis or possessed cannabis for the purpose of sale” without a licence between July 31, 2019 and Sept. 4, 2019.

That operation was at the same location as Boomers Bud.

Since the society pled guilty to the offence it only had to pay a penalty equal to the value of the pot seized, which was $65,716. That fine was levied on June 7, 2021.

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The third incident in this region involved Blayne Poirier and Richard Stagg of Canna Cabana at 5638 Highway 97, outside Oliver.

That too, started with an education inspection July 16, 2019. It was followed by an enforcement inspection on Oct. 29, 2019 when cannabis was seized.

On May 28, 2020, the two men were handed a penalty equal to twice the value of the seized pot, which was $36,953.

The other four cases included two in Victoria, one in Squamish and one in Vancouver.

Penalties for those four totalled almost $1.4 million, including $777,558 levied against Trees of Eden Island Grown in Victoria.

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