The TPD Boutique has reopened on Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) land making it the third cannabis shop within one square kilometre near the Canco Gas Station on Highway 97 just outside of Oliver.
Owner of TPD, Christopher Dawe, said his shop was closed last year to get in line with requirements from the OIB.
“(The OIB) had some prerequisites and safety concerns that they wanted me to satiate before I opened. So, what essentially happened was, I built the place last year, and then I was under the impression that we were allowed to open and then I realized that we had just a couple of hoops to jump through. And then with the COVID and everything, it was just a more lengthy process,” Dawe said.
Those hoops included getting in line with federal legislation on lab testing and packaging, Dawe said.
Dawe reopened his shop recently with OIB elders in attendance for the ribbon cutting.
The OIB adopted the Osoyoos Indian Band Cannabis Bylaw, with two Indigenous Bloom stores opening on OIB land last year. TPD Boutique is the first shop to open under the OIB’s regulatory framework since. The OIB was very particular about safety of the product as well as the packaging and being in line with federal legislation, Dawe said.
“Through the OIB program, we just have a little more leniency as to where we can acquire our products from. So, through the government program, you can only acquire your products from a government LP, which is a legal provider. Through the Indigenous cannabis bylaw act, I’m able to acquire my products through any of the previously legislated cannabis enrolment programs.”
This means Dawe is able to work with local growers who he says have been producing cannabis in the Okanagan and Similkameen for some time for medicinal use before recreational cannabis was legalized in 2018.
One of three cannabis shops in the small area, with an Indigenous Bloom location close by, and Nimbus Cannabis across the highway, Dawe does not feel there are too many cannabis shops concentrated in one area.