A sign is up on the Kwaw-Kwaw-Apilt First Nation reserve along Ashwell Drive for Indigenous Bloom, a medical cannabis dispensary that’s under construction. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Second marijuana dispensary to open up on Chilliwack First Nation reserve

Health Canada says they are illegal and both are close to residential neighbourhoods

First it was The Kure, now it’s Indigenous Bloom.

Some wonder what’s taken so long, but it appears some local First Nations people are taking advantage of marijuana’s legal grey area by opening up shops on reserves.

And while marijuana is technically illegal to sell, and cannabis dispensaries are forbidden in the City of Chilliwack, dealing with what happens on reserve may prove to be a tricky matter.

The Kure Cannabis Dispensary quietly opened up in April on Dyke Road on the Skwah Reserve near Townsend Park. The operation is on a privately held CP (Certificate of Possession) land, according to band councillor Lara Mussell.

• READ MORE: Marijuana shop opens up on Chilliwack First Nations reserve

And this week an “Opening Soon” sign was put up next to a building under construction on the Kwaw-kwaw-Apilt reserve along Ashwell Road. The sign says “Indigenous Bloom – Medical Cannabis Dispensary.”

Indigenous Bloom differs from The Kure, which does not purport to be a medical cannabis dispensary. A staff member at The Kure said the shop was simply operating in advance of coming legalization in Canada.

As for the claim of being a medical cannabis dispensary, Health Canada says “no.”

“Storefront operations selling cannabis, commonly known as ‘dispensaries’ and ‘compassion clubs’ are not licensed by Health Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and are illegal,” according to Health Canada media relations officer André Gagnon.

“Until cannabis laws change, and strict regulations and restrictions are put in effect, local police authorities will continue to address illegal cannabis possession and sales.”

As for those legal ramifications, all the Chilliwack RCMP said last month regarding The Kure was that investigation and charges are possible.

“Businesses and/or individuals operating in contravention of the [Controlled Drugs and Substances Act] and Health Canada regulations may be subject to investigation and criminal charges in accordance with Canadian laws,” RCMP spokesperson Mike Rail said.

This week Rail added that police wouldn’t comment on whether or not there was an ongoing investigation in any case for safety reasons.

As for city hall, Mayor Sharon Gaetz said she was not happy to see The Kure open and she had nothing to add by way of comment on the Indigenous Bloom opening. Both are on reserve but are so close to city land they are visible from residential neighbourhoods in Chilliwack.

“It is regretful to hear that a dispensary has opened nearby while provincial regulations are being developed,” Gaetz said.

According to Health Canada, there are 105 authorized licensed producers of medical cannabis in Canada, 22 of which are in B.C.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

A sign is up on the Kwaw-Kwaw-Apilt First Nation reserve along Ashwell Drive for Indigenous Bloom, a medical cannabis dispensary that’s under construction. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Just Posted

It’s a YES for the cultural centre

Vernon voters delivered a huge YES in the Cultural Centre Referendum.

Cumming wins Vernon mayor’s chair

‘I felt pretty good about the campaign right from the beginning.’

Three new faces on Vernon council

Like he did in 2014, Quiring topped the polls, collecting 4,120 votes.

Vernon School District sees five new trustees

Only two incumbents, Mollie Bono and Robert Lee, are returning to SD22

Dirt biking accident near Coldstream lands one in hospital

Undetermined injuries in crash on Sunday

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

Eye witnesses sought in Kelowna suspected robbery attempt

Incident occured Sunday, Oct. 21 near downtown

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

Most Read