Vernon deems Main Street pot shop ‘hazardous,’ orders temporary closure

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Vernon cannabis shop given notice not to occupy building
Watch Above: About a dozen businesses in Vernon continue to sell marijuana ahead of legalization. However, the city has told one of them to close its doors, at least temporarily. It’s not because of what they're selling, but where. The building has been deemed a hazard, but as Megan Turcato reports, despite the notice the shop remained open Wednesday – Sep 26, 2018

The City of Vernon has told a downtown pot shop it can’t occupy its space on 30th Avenue, citing safety concerns.

A notice from the city on the door of the shop says “these premises have been found to contain unauthorized alternations and are in a hazardous condition” and that no one is allowed to “occupy” the space until the problems are fixed.

“These unauthorized alternations pose a risk to the building, its occupants and potentially to the buildings beside it,” said Kim Flick, the city’s director of community infrastructure and development.

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However, the owner of Ocean Sprout’s Organic Herb denies his building was ever unsafe or hazardous.

The shop’s owner Dan Didio believes the city’s handling of the situation was “a little excessive.” Megan Turcato / Global News

Dan Didio feels the city’s handling of the matter was “a little excessive.”

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“They were really nit picky . . . my extension cords were illegal, just all kinds of things,” Didio said.

“They really freaked out because I had one room down there with a few plants. They are just my mother plants; they are really, really nice genetics, I’ve had them for almost 20 years, some of them.”

The city defends its stance, saying that buildings must meet the building code and that growing marijuana is simply not allowed in the downtown commercial area.

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Despite the do-not-occupy notice, people were coming and going from the business on Wednesday.

When asked why he appeared to still be selling marijuana at his store despite the notice, Didio denied continuing to sell cannabis at the business.

“I can’t really comment on that I don’t think. That would give me a $1,000 fine with the city. So we are not really selling weed right now,” Didio said.

Didio said he has made the required changes, but an inspection is still needed before he will be given the go-ahead to occupy the space again.

“We did everything they wanted us to do: just extensive cleaning, some dry walling on the ceiling [and] some electrical work they wanted done. So I think we will be back open pretty soon,” Didio said.

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