Pot regulation hazy for Sooke businesses

Sooke stores will continue to operate after Oct. 17

Craft growers may continue to play a role in the legal recreational marijuana marketplace. (THE NEWS/files)

At last weeks all-candidates’ debate, Mayor Maja Tait was asked how the legalization of marijuana would impact the community and her answer at least implied that everything was under control.

She’d spoken to all the three dispensaries in Sooke and had been informed that they have all applied for their licensing under the new legislation.

The RCMP were on-side, the number of outlets have been capped at three, and all was well, she said.

The actual facts are a bit more nuanced, according to the operators of thedispensaries.

Lisa Kailan, co-owner of the Castle Naturals Cannabis Dispensary confirmed that, while the store will not have their license in place as of Wednesday (Oct.17), they have no intention of shutting their doors, unlike some Victoria dispensaries.

“We’ve applied but there is a lot of paperwork involved and we’re just waiting for them to give us more information,” said Kailan.


Pointing to the dizzying array of marijuana blends on the shelves and the scores of bottles of cannabis tinctures available at her store, she said that none of her product would be discarded while cannabis retailers wait for clarification on product sources and limitations.

“We had a meeting with the Ministry of Finance, for example, and they seem supportive of the craft growers,” said Kailan.

“We have amazing growers … craft growers who really know what they’re doing and it would be ridiculous not to allow those products to be sold.”

At High Tide Cannabis, the operators (who did not wish to be named) said that they also had no intention of closing their doors and spoke with some frustration about how, with a municipal election underway, no marijuana operation would get approvals before the legalization date.

“Everything is shrouded in mystery,” they said.

“We’ve received nothing from the province saying that ‘this is the plan’. We have applied to the Province but the local government has to approve. Plus, we’re in Otter Point, so it’s a different set of politicians that have to approve our operation.”

At 642 Cannabis, the owners did not respond to a request for an interview, but the staff at the site confirmed that the store would be open on Oct. 17 despite not having their permit in place.

“I know that we’re open because I’m working that day,” said one employee.

“As far as getting rid of our ole product, we’re in no rush to make that happen.”

And, despite that the recreational use of cannabis has been legalized, there are concerns on the part of operators that some of the products that have been for sale to this point will not be allowed under the new rules.

“We have these tinctures, for example. The only thing allowed under the new laws are some low potency tinctures, and that’s just silly,” said one Castle Naturals employee.

“With that kind of rules, at this point, it seems more like prohibition than legalization.”

But Kailan is hopeful that things will work out and that no police actions are taken until they are.

“We’re operating on a lot of hearsay at the moment. It seems as though they are still writing the manual,” she said.

“But I think that we’ll be able to operate and run. It may be tightened up near the beginning, but I get the sense that things will be loosened up.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Literacy global phenomenon lands in Sooke

A worldwide program Free Little Library boasts more than 93,000 locations

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

All Carlton Cards stores closing in the coming weeks

Schurman Retail Group stores across North America will close, including 79 in Canada

Meet Arthur Heart, Oak Bay Avenue’s resident stickman

Contest winner dubs stickman Art Heart

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Island river

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Most Read