Article by Andrea Klassen, Kamloops This Week
A marijuana dispensary that drew the ire of residents living above its Aberdeen store front is no more — and Kamloops RCMP say other pot shops in the city should prepare for a period of apparent tolerance to come to an end.
A note affixed to the front door of Canna Clinic on Hillside Drive says the store closed on Aug. 1 “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
Calls and emails to the store went unanswered but RCMP Staff Sgt. Simon Pillay confirmed to KTW police sent the shop a cease and desist letter in July after receiving a barrage of calls from the public. Complaints from residents included drug consumption on the property, illegal drug sales and claims that thefts from vehicles and garages were on the rise, though Pillay said the latter is difficult to prove.
“In this particular case, we decided let’s give them a warning letter that explains the laws because we’ve spoken to a lot of people — even employees at some dispensaries — who are oblivious to what the actual laws are,” he said.
“So we thought, in the spirit of reasonableness, let’s start with a letter explaining what laws they’re breaking and giving them an opportunity to rectify that before we come in.”
With the shop permanently closed a short time later, Pillay said the tactic seems to have worked and RCMP are looking at taking action against other storefront dispensaries in town, some of which have been operating for more than a year.
Laissez-faire enforcement comes to an end
Until now, there’s been little enforcement of dispensaries in the city, either from police or the city of Kamloops.
That’s in part due to the federal government’s plans to legalize the drug — which should happen some time next year — and the questions which remain about how marijuana will be sold, grown and distributed in that new reality.