March 15, 2017 9:09 pm

Despite threats, it’s business as usual for West Kelowna pot shops


West Kelowna is home to at least six medical marijuana dispensaries — each one of them under the microscope since West Kelowna RCMP and the city began sabre rattling. The RCMP was the loudest voice stating the dispensaries won’t be tolerated and that they are illegal.

Talk of getting tough on dispensaries began a couple of few weeks ago, so Global News visited several of them Wednesday to find out if the RCMP had paid them a visit.

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“I can tell you right now we haven’t been visited by the city at all,” said one dispensary owner. “There’s been a very small amount of communication between the RCMP. I think us and the RCMP share some big concerns and those concerns are the massive amount of clients that are using, medical clients that are using medical cannabis now, and looking for safe sources of that medicine.”

The owner went on to say that if the RCMP shut the dispensaries down, the people seeking medical marijuana would go underground to get their medicine.

All the other pot shops Global News visited said the same — that neither the RCMP nor anyone from the city hall have paid them a visit.

West Kelowna RCMP declined an on camera interview but provided a statement which said, in part: “It may appear there are varying degrees of enforcement action depending on the community. What, if any, action may be appropriate or when that action would occur will remain with the RCMP.”

Bob Menzies runs a business next to a medical marijuana dispensary in West Kelowna. He says traffic at the dispensary picked up substantially when word got out that the city and RCMP might be taking action.

“A couple of Saturdays ago when there was some news that the RCMP may uphold the law there was a steady stream of cars and a steady stream of customers going in,” Menzies said.

As for the residents of West Kelowna, some say the dispensaries are fine where they are while others say they should at least move from the downtown core.

“I have actually seen people walk out of the marijuana shop and smoking up before they drive away on multiple occasions. My preference would be for them — certainly until it’s legalized and fully controlled — to see them go somewhere else,” the man said.

But for now, despite threats of shutting them down, it’s business as usual for the pot shops in West Kelowna.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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