How Kamloops got to be the only B.C. city operating a government cannabis store on Oct. 17 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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How Kamloops got to be the only B.C. city operating a government cannabis store on Oct. 17

Dave Jones poses outside his office on Seymour Street in Kamloops on Oct. 12, 2018.
October 15, 2018 - 5:42 PM

KAMLOOPS - Kamloops is expected to be the only city in the province to have a legal store where you can buy cannabis Wednesday, and it’s all down to being prepared and a chance encounter.

Dave Jones is the City’s ‘cannabis guru’ as he has been dubbed around the office but officially he is the business licence inspector and property use coordinator in the development and planning department. 

"The City of Kamloops got the first store due to the fact that the planning department and the development department has done a whole bunch of work over the year getting ready for the location," Jones says.

Since the summer of 2017 when the federal government announced it was looking to legalize cannabis, he says he was aware a long time ago that too many impediments would likely prevent any stores from opening Oct. 17. Three levels of government — federal, provincial and local — were all trying to complete their regulatory obligations.

To complete the process for the City of Kamloops, Jones went to Union of B.C. Municipalities meetings in Vancouver and spoke to an agent for the Government of B.C. who was looking for a community that was prepared to lead the way.

"At that meeting I mentioned that Kamloops was ready and that we had zoned areas for it and if they were looking for a location that we were pretty close to having all our regulations and all our processes procedures in place," Jones says.

One week after that, the City of Kamloops got the official approval to move forward with the store opening on Oct. 17. 

"It's an exciting time in history," Jones says, "that Kamloops is gonna have the first store. I had a visit today, what a marvelous store...but I don't know who is going to be the first lucky one to buy the first cannabis in B.C. at that store."

The first BC Cannabis Store will open on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 17. It is located at Columbia Place Shopping Centre, 1210 Summit Dr.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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