Article by Steve Kidd, Penticton Western News
After months of discussion, both in the community and at the council table, the issue of marijuana dispensaries was still a problem for council to come to a decision on, but ended up approving two operations.
The City of Penticton received seven applications from groups wanting to operate medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Council decided to review all seven applications at their Dec. 6 meeting, but after hearing the first one, Okanagan Cannabinoid Therapy (351 Westminster Ave. West) councillors remained divided the best way to proceed.
Coun. Campbell Watt questioned whether council shouldn’t be deciding whether they want to issue temporary use licenses in the first place.
“I am going to be opposed to this until it is legal,” said Watt, explaining that he understood the need for medical marijuana and supported it, but storefront sales of the drug remained illegal.
Watt was supported by Coun. Helena Konanz, who said she should have done her homework and wasn’t qualified to judge whether or not an operator should get a permit. Homework, she explained, would have required her to go into each of the shops that are still operating — despite having their business licenses suspended over the summer — and trying their product to see if it made her ill.
“That is the only way I can make a judgment on every single one of these separately,” said Konanz. “I need to wait and see because I can’t make that decision myself.”