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

Peace Arch Elementary playground upgrade a go

White Rock Rotary fundraising contributes last piece for completing project

Telethon promotes Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID response funding

Entrepreneur Manjit Lit gifts Surrey Hospital Foundation, challenges others to join him

Surrey’s Johnston Heights reporting COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

White Rock shoots down mandatory mask motion

Coun. Scott Kristjanson asked city to prepare report on mandatory masks on public spaces

Stanley Cup win for Surrey-based NHL scout who coached in North Delta

Grant Armstrong is among 11 WHL alumni currently with Tampa Bay Lightning

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

‘Alien invasion’: Strange webbing creeps in overnight in Agassiz,Harrison

Eerie webbing might be the result of a growth in moth population

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Most Read