Article by Joe Fries, Penticton Herald
After experimenting with marijuana dispensaries for seven months, Penticton city council voted Tuesday to ban the pot shops outright.
And the two dispensaries to which council granted now-expired temporary use permits in December 2016 will now be asked to covert to so-called “wellness centres” dealing only in information and smoking accessories – not bud.
The decision not to renew the TUPs was made by a 5-2 vote of council, with Max Picton and Tarik Sayeed in opposition.
Coun. Judy Sentes noted legalization of the drug seemed imminent when the TUPs were approved last year, but that changed this spring when the federal government announced a July 1, 2018, target date to legitimize recreational use of marijuana.
“The fact that it’s still illegal haunts me,” said Sentes.
“If the (federal) government would have come through, we would be having an entirely different discussion. The way that it is now, I think this is the only resolution we can do.”
Picton said the TUPs were meant as a trial program aimed at testing the community’s response to dispensaries and helping those with medical conditions get easier access to marijuana.