Article by Charlotte Helston, InfoTel
The municipality told him to shut down, police raided his shop and charged him with drug trafficking, and now an Okanagan dispensary owner is challenging the constitutionality of what transpired.
Ryan Pahl, co-owner of the Kaya Clinic in Kelowna, was charged with one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking after Mounties raided the dispensary in January, 2015.
Today in Vernon Provincial Court, Pahl’s lawyer Kirk Tousaw said the court case won’t revolve around proof his client was selling marijuana, but around the constitutionality of the activity itself.
“The prevailing system in place at the time of the arrest was… determined to be unconstitutional,” Tousaw said, citing a February 2016 court decision on access to medical marijuana, known as the Allard case.
The Kaya Clinic’s trouble started when the City of Kelowna inspected the Lawrence Avenue store and discovered it was in fact a marijuana dispensary, not a retail store as the operators stated when getting a business license. Pahl was advised to shut down, and when he didn’t, the city notified police.