City of Kelowna takes legal action against medical marijuana dispensaries

They sell various medical marijuana products at Trichome Valley Rx in Kelowna.

“You see people come in here, and the benefits they’re deriving from using these products, it just warms your heart,” says spokesperson Rob Lindsay.

But the city is suing the business, and four other medical cannabis dispensaries in Kelowna, alleging they’re operating without business licenses.

“And we will not issue business licenses because the practice they’re doing is illegal in Canada,” says spokesperson Rob Mayne.

It’s also alleged the five businesses are violating zoning bylaws.

“Because we do not permit dispensing medical marijuana or marijuana in any zone in the city right now,” says Mayne

Lindsay calls the city’s legal action short-sighted.

“In July it’s going to be legal. People need reasonable access to medical cannabis. And they’re putting up roadblocks to prevent them from doing that? It outrages me, it really does.”

Mayne says the impending legalization of marijuana is not a consideration.

“When it’s legal we’ll do it according to the regulations. But for now it’s not lawful.”

He expects to get the civil lawsuits before a judge early in the new year.

“We’d like them to stand down and close their operations,” says Mayne.

That won’t happen without a challenge.

“Yeah we’ll fight it,” says Lindsay. “We’ll fight for them (patients) to have reasonable access to medicine.”

There are three medical marijuana dispensaries in Kelowna that are not being sued by the city, at least not yet.

“Three are still under investigation. We’re doing follow up with those,” says Mayne.

He says it’s “quite possible” they’ll also be served with a lawsuit.

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