Staff at city hall are recommending the City of Penticton prohibit marijuana dispensaries and instead recommend two of them fall into compliance as a wellness centre.
Council had deferred their decision on the extension of temporary use permits for cannabis dispensaries at their meeting on July 4 after councillors voted down a motion to deny the permits. The dispensaries were asking to extend their permits beyond the six-month trial that council voted in favour of in December.
City staff recommended to deny the extensions.
In a report that will be presented to city council this Tuesday, city staff are now recommending council give a direction for staff to work with legal counsel to permit Green Essence and Okanagan Cannabinoid Therapy to obtain compliance as a wellness centre through a consent order under the civil action process. With that, staff also recommend that council resolve to prohibit marijuana dispensaries in the City of Penticton until such time as the federal and provincial governments lawfully permit such use.
A wellness centre is a storefront that would provide information on accessing medical cannabis and lobby for marijuana legalization. The report to city council states the business could sell marijuana paraphernalia, including pipes and accessories, but can not actually sell cannabis products.
At their last meeting council heard that a justice ruled on a Abbotsford case regarding cannabis dispensaries and business license. The justice decided that the City of Abbotsford had jurisdiction to refuse a business licence on the basis of the dispensary not being lawful, setting a legal precedent for others. However, a lawyer for Okanagan Cannaboid Therapy said that same issue is being appealed at the B.C. Supreme Court, alleging the attorney general “rushed to complete conclusion.”