iN PHOTOS: Cannabis industry insights: Vernon's Terra Vida Wellness is not your average pot shop - InfoNews

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iN PHOTOS: Cannabis industry insights: Vernon's Terra Vida Wellness is not your average pot shop

Vernon's latest cannabis store includes puppy parking.
July 08, 2019 - 6:00 AM

VERNON - Walking into the calm, softly lit interior of Terra Vida Wellness feels very much like walking into a spa or boutique hotel.

The reception has an organic quality to it, with a solid wood reception kiosk and the company logo embossed from moss on the wall, the design is simple, sleek and sophisticated.

But those looking for a spa treatment or a place to stay the night won't find either. Terra Vida Wellness Indigenous Dispensary and Wellness Centre is Vernon's newest cannabis store.

Located in a purpose-built 4,000 square foot building tucked off Tronson Road adjacent to Vernon Region Airport's runway, the store opened quietly June 24.

The contemporary structure has muted tones of exterior wood panelling contrasting with sections of corrugated metal siding — its appearance wouldn't be out of place in a high-end architecture or design magazine.

An expansive deck looks across Vernon airport's runway and down the valley.
An expansive deck looks across Vernon airport's runway and down the valley.

Walking through the cannabis dispensary, the vibe moves toward an earthy and relaxed exterior leading out to a south-facing 900 square feet wooden deck with expansive views looking down the valley.

While Vernon's first provincially-approved recreational cannabis store, Spiritleaf, opened its doors July 1 and 11 other applications for non-medical cannabis stores await provincial approval, Terra Vida Wellness sits on Okanagan Indian Band land, skirting the provincial regulations.

At least four cannabis stores line a strip of OKIB land on Westside Road now dubbed 'The Green Mile' but Terra Vida appears to be the first on the east side of Okanagan Lake.

The Okanagan Indian Band did schedule a meeting to review draft bylaws concerning cannabis at the beginning of July, but the meeting was postponed following the death of an elder. It's unclear what those draft bylaws will contain as the draft bylaws will only be available to band members. The OKIB passed a resolution on May 27 prohibiting the opening of any new cannabis businesses.

The doctrine says that as First Nations reserve lands are not under provincial jurisdiction, there's no need to apply for a licence.

The provincial government doesn't appear to agree. The B.C. Ministry of the Attorney General previous told iNFOnews.ca cannabis stores on reserves need a provincial licence.

The situation was described as "in flux" by the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee, who told iNFOnews.ca last month the issue highlighted many questions concerning First Nations governance.

The complex legalities may explain why Terra Vida still lacks a website or accessible Facebook page, but when it comes to advertising the store is taking a unique approach.

Measuring 40 feet by 60 feet the company's logo, made from hundreds of white rocks, is displayed in the back yard of the business, advertising to the skydivers and planes that land next door.

The reception area has an organic vibe.
The reception area has an organic vibe.

Out the back, there's a comfortable and cozy seating area.
Out the back, there's a comfortable and cozy seating area.

The front of the store.
The front of the store.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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