Almost a week has passed since the deadline for West Kelowna’s six medical marijuana dispensaries to close, but the majority are still open today.
The city wants them gone and was threatening heavy fines.
As of the first of November, the city has been issuing $1000 a day fines to the dispensaries and some clients are not happy about it.
Dan Deveau is a Canadian war vet who used to take upward of 300 opioid pain pills a month to deal with his wartime injuries. He now relies on cannabis patches to deal with his pain — something he says is only available at dispensaries.
“With the federal government system, you have access to only herbal cannabis. They have five strains. You have access to five strains of cannabis that you have to smoke. There’s no access to pharmaceutical grade pain patches, edibles, oils; and a lot of people just can’t smoke so they’re left with no other alternatives,” Duveau said.
No one at the City of West Kelowna would go on camera but it did issue a statement saying:
“The City of West Kelowna’s Bylaw Enforcement Office has visited the six marijuana dispensaries beginning November 1st. One dispensary has indicated it has stopped dispensing marijuana. The remaining five are being issued $1,000 tickets because they have remained open contrary to the City’s business licensing bylaw.”
Meanwhile, Deveau says there’s going to be backlash against West Kelowna city council at the next municipal election. He says medical marijuana users will make their feelings heard at the polls.
“Absolutely. I think that the councillors who are making these decisions now are going to find out on polling day there’s going to be a real resurgence of people who are going to have something to say about it,” he said.