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.

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

 

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

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

Crime stats show a shift in Oak Bay during COVID-19

Thefts from automobiles, marinas up this spring

Suspected thief drops backpack of stolen goods and runs

Oak Bay Police use K9 for suspicious male

Victoria society purchases addiction recovery home after year of fundraising

Umbrella Society’s Foundation House is a second stage house for men in active recovery

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

COVID-19 cases next to nil on Vancouver Island

Only one COVID-19 patient being treated at Island Health’s hospitals

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

For the record

A correction to the May 20 Rickter Scale

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Most Read