Indigenous Bloom opens cannabis store in Lake Country

Indigenous Bloom operates near the head of Commonwealth Road in Lake Country.
Indigenous Bloom operates near the head of Commonwealth Road in Lake Country.

LAKE COUNTRY - A cannabis retailer has been up and running in the Central Okanagan for just over a week now in a region that has yet to see a legal pot shop open its doors.

Indigenous Bloom opened its doors early this month on Commonwealth Road on First Nations land near the border between Lake Country and Kelowna without much fanfare, especially when compared to Starbuds, which was tied up in a high-profile debate with the District of Lake Country council last month.

Indigenous Bloom offers recreational cannabis, something that's illegal without a provincial license. A representative at the Indigenous Bloom store said the company has no comment on all questions regarding their license, except to say the store is on Okanagan Indian Band land.

In the North Okanagan, Indigenous Bloom also has a retail outlet on Westside Road near Vernon on Okanagan Indian Band land, according to a Global Okanagan report.

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch keeps an up-to-date list private non-medical cannabis retail stores in the province. There are currently seven listed in Vancouver, Trail, Kimberley and Pouce Coupe. Indigenous Bloom in Lake Country is not on the list.

While there may be a perceived gray area when it comes to reserve land and cannabis retail, the Cannabis Regulation Branch has a straightforward policy. 

A representative for the branch said anyone seeking a license must apply through the Province, even on reserve land. An Indigenous nation can recommend to the Province that a store receive a license, but the B.C. government has the final say.

The official said stores operating anywhere in B.C. with a cannabis license are breaking the law.

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