West Kelowna cannabis shop fought the law and the law won - InfoNews

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West Kelowna cannabis shop fought the law and the law won

July 08, 2019 - 11:54 AM

KELOWNA - Cannabis legalization was just around the corner in 2017, but jumping the gun and flouting the pre-existing bylaws didn’t put a West Kelowna dispensary in a better position once it became official. 

In a decision reached last week, Justice Murray Blok ruled that the City of West Kelowna’s Business Licence Bylaw is valid therefore it was operating within its rights when it cancelled Okanagan Cannabis and Black Crow Herbal’s 2017 business licences, started ticketing the operation and continued turning down its applications in the years that followed.

Black Crow Herbals was incorporated on Jan. 13, 2015 and operated as a compassion club and a cannabis dispensary within West Kelowna’s city limits. Even once the city cancelled its licence, the business kept going and the city ramped up its efforts to shut it down.

Blok pointed out that the city has a statutory right to an injunction to enforce, prevent or restrain a breach of a bylaw.

“Despite the indication from dispensaries that they would cease their operations by the time the Cannabis Act came into force, the persistence of the individuals associated with the dispensaries in continuing operations despite the city’s enforcement measures satisfies me that an injunction should issue in the terms sought,” wrote Blok in the decision.

The city also sought an enforcement order, allowing for police assistance in ensuring the injunction is complied with. In light of the stated intention of the respondents to discontinue operations by October 17, 2018, Blok declined to make an enforcement order but granted leave to the city to apply for an enforcement order if necessary.

It’s bad news for Black Crow, which had filed a countersuit asking for an order to set aside the city’s decision to cancel Black Crow’s business licence; and offer a declaration that would allow both dispensaries to continue operation won’t come to be.

While the city sought special costs to deal with the respondents demonstrated “flagrant disregard” for the bylaws, Blok didn’t go that route.

Instead, he said, “the city itself played at least some role, for a time, in leading the respondents to believe they could carry on business as they did, and the points raised by the respondents were not frivolous. There is no basis for special costs here.”

The city was awarded costs

Black Crow Herbal Solutions listed itself as a medical marijuana dispensary that is committed to providing safe access to high-quality medical cannabis products for qualified patient and caregiver members.

“We treat our qualified patient members as individuals with courtesy, integrity, respect and honesty,” the company stated on its site. “We are dedicated to keeping our patients' privacy maintained while providing safe, comfortable, and affordable access to a wide variety of the highest quality medical cannabis products. If you need a doctor to provide you with care for your health concerns, we can help connect you with a caring and helpful professional.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels 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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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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