Only one week left to buy weed from Kelowna dispensaries - InfoNews

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Only one week left to buy weed from Kelowna dispensaries

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January 23, 2018 - 7:00 PM

KELOWNA – It appears the City of Kelowna is getting its wish: Most marijuana dispensaries across the city are planning to shut down by the end of the month.

The City issued them cease and desist letters and threatened to take them to court if they persisted and most, it seems, are opting not to fight City Hall. 

The Herbal Health Centre, formerly the Kaya Clinic, at 516 Lawrence Avenue announced online all cannabis sales ceased at their Kelowna location Jan. 5. Starbuds downtown on Pandosy will close at the end of the month, and TLC Herbal Meds on Dolphin Avenue will be turned into a bong shop Feb. 1.

BeKind on Highway 33 in Rutland are accepting new members but won’t say for how long and Trichome Valley Rx on Enterprise Way told Global Okanagan they plan to remain open. Calls to Ross’ Gold on Bernard Avenue were not answered or returned.

Communities around the province are dealing with marijuana dispensaries in vastly different ways in the run up to legalization.

In West Kelowna five of the six dispensaries have been getting $1,000 fines for every day they’ve remained open since Nov. 1. The sixth has since closed.

Vernon city council is keeping the doors open for their 12 dispensaries. Council gave third reading to a bylaw Coun. Catherine Lord says will force the closure of all of Vernon's pot shops, but then grant temporary use permits on a case-by-case basis. The bylaw changes won’t be official unless voted in at an upcoming council meeting.

"The current (dispensaries) would have to stop operating, but apply for a temporary use permit. They could do that to continue operating,” Lord says.

The City of Kamloops has not only outlawed marijuana dispensaries, it will levy heavy fines for commercial tenants who allow them to carry on business without a licence. 

The City of Penticton has gone back and forth before finally moving to boot local dispensaries but gave temporary permits to two non-profit organizations.

The federal government has committed to legalization by July 1, 2018, leaving provincial governments to regulate how it will be sold. 

Kelowna city council recommended to the province that cannabis should only be sold from storefront dispensaries licenced by the provincial government and under rules similar to existing liquor stores.

“Those locations and operations should be controlled by municipal land use zoning and bylaws,” Wilson says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 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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