Update: 3:05 p.m.
West Kelowna council has cancelled two business licenses for two different marijuana dispensaries operating in the city.
Council voted to pull the licenses effective immediately, at its regular council meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Both Black Crow Herbals as well as The Healing Company appeared before city council and asked West Kelowna to delay making a decision until the provincial government had announced its distribution plan for the legalization of marijuana.
However council rejected that and cancelled the licenses because they are operating illegally by selling marijuana out of their store-front.
One of the directors of Black Crow Herbals, which also operates in Vernon, told the Vernon Morning Star that they would continue to operate even if the license was pulled
West Kelowna council is diving head-long into the marijuana issue today, with a staff recommendation that they cancel a business license for Black Crow Herbals on Westgate Road.
The company operates as a marijuana dispensary in West Kelowna and has another in Vernon.
It is one of two marijuana dispensaries the City of West Kelowna is hoping to close down. The other one is called The Healing Company and operates on Stevens Road.
In a report to council, West Kelowna staff said that Black Crow Herbals operates as a compassion club and a cannabis dispensary and lists four individuals as company directors. The company was incorporated Jan. 13, 2015.
The report states the business is operating illegally and should be closed.
“Staff recommends cancelling the license…as the license holder has engaged in the illegal dispensing of cannabis,” read the staff report. “Cancellation of the business license will result in requiring the business to close immediately.”
Along with the recommendation to cancel the business license, staff also gave West Kelowna council two alternative recommendations should they opt for a different tact. Council could either decide not to cancel the license or to suspend the license for a specified period of time.
When contacted company director Robert Jaenicke questioned the timing of the move by council.
“Why now? Why after all this time,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to me because I’ve been operating now for three years. They specifically didn’t want us downtown, so I opened on the edge of town.”
Jaenicke said his was one of the first dispensaries to open in West Kelowna and suggested some sensible municipal bylaws would be a better move, while municipalities await word from the provincial government to release details of a distribution model for B.C., once the federal government legalizes marijuana next year.
In information provided to West Kelowna council from the company’s website, Black Crow Herbal Solutions listed itself as a medical marijuana dispensary that is committed to providing safe access to high quality medical cannabis products for qualified patient and caregiver members.
“We treat our qualified patient members as individuals with courtesy, integrity, respect and honesty,” stated the company on its site. “We are dedicated to keeping our patients privacy maintained while providing safe, comfortable, and affordable access to a wide variety of the highest quality medical cannabis products. If you need a doctor to provide you with care for your health concerns, we can help connect you with a caring and helpful professional.”
In ad advertisement, the company stated it offered top quality medication at an affordable price as well as offering free delivery.
The Capital News has a reporter attending the council meeting and will update this story following the meeting.