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

Rain Walk returns Saturday to raise funds for cancer support

Rain Walk group Team Teal indebted to Inspire Health

City of Langford rebrands, announces several projects

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

Motion for Saanich to stand with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in pipeline debate postponed

One week delay provides more time to build community support, councillor says

UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway blockade ends three hours later

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Boy, 5, will donate organs after crash that killed father, son on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Chinatowns across Canada report drop in business due to new coronavirus fears

Around the world, about 81,000 people have become ill with the virus

Endangered butterfly species to be reintroduced to Hornby Island

Hornby Island is about to play a major role in the saving… Continue reading

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Most Read