B.C. Cannabis Store violates Penticton bylaw by staying open too late | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. Cannabis Store violates Penticton bylaw by staying open too late

FILE PHOTO - Customers walk out of British Columbia's first legal B.C. cannabis store with shopping bags of product in Kamloops, B.C. Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

An opening weekend error in operating hours by the new BC Cannabis Store in Penticton drew fire from private retailers who accused the government-operated retail outlet of not playing fair.

The store, located in the Power Centre at 2210 Main Street in Penticton, opened its doors for the first time this past weekend and set their closing hours one hour later than Penticton bylaws allow.

BC Liquor Distribution Branch communications manager Viviana Zanocco said today, Feb. 14, the branch had put the incorrect store hours in the Penticton business license application, and when approved, believed those hours were also approved.

Zanocco said it came to the branch's attention on Monday that the municipality requires cannabis stores to close by 8 p.m., not 9 p.m. as the Penticton location did last Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9.

The branch checked with Penticton’s planning department and have since corrected the operating hours, although Zanocco said the store’s phone message has yet to be updated.

“It was an oversight on our part. Some retailers thought it’s not fair, and it’s not fair. We want to play on the same playing field,” she said.

Zanocco said some complaints were fielded by the City and others by the Liquor Distribution Branch, who operate the government-owned cannabis outlets.

“We’re not justifying anything, but some municipalities allow opening until 11 p.m., others until 6 p.m., so we were mirroring our operating hours on those of the liquor stores. They are usually very close, but still we made a mistake and have corrected it, and hope no one was inconvenienced,” she says.

“I think it was an honest mistake by the manager there. We did have a few complaints by other retailers in town. We’ve expressed our concern to the store manager and they’ve adjusted their hours,” Penticton deputy director of development services Ken Kunka said.

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