City of Kimberley grants two more medical marijuana business licenses

The market will determine whether all the dispensaries survive, Council says

In two separate votes, Kimberley City Council granted business licenses to two more medical marijuana businesses for Kimberley on Monday evening. Each business will be allowed to dispense medical cannabis products, but each with a limitation — there will be no production allowed. The businesses must source their product from growers elsewhere.

Council first heard an emotional plea from Chris and Lori Weitzel. Chris is battling esophagal cancer. He was diagnosed with stage 4 over a year ago and chose to go a different route than chemo and radiation. After a lot of research, Chris opted for traditional Chinese medicines, medical cannabis and a totally organic lifestyle. He also travelled to Mexico for treatment.

Wife Lori told Council, that in the last five biopsies, there was no cancer in the esophagus.

“I am walking, talking proof that this works,” Chris said.

The Weitzel’s vision for their business, Earth’s Own Naturals, involves a lot more than medical cannabis.

“Cannabis is not a magic bullet. You have to incorporate it with other things,” he said. “I want to share what I have learned with people. You don’t have to be scared. There are alternatives. There are ways to make it easier.”

Chris says they would focus on the auto-immune side of medical cannabis benefits, and would sell oils and smokables.

“I went to a lot of dispensaries in Vancouver, not all, but a lot, and a lot of the stuff that’s being sold is crap. We would sell product that is as organic as possible, no chemical fertilizers used in production. We have been in contact with commercial and medical growers who will grow organically for us.”

“We won’t sell anything, Chris wouldn’t take himself,” Lori said.

The Weitzels also said that they felt they would be complimentary to the current dispensary, Tamarack.

“Tamarack focuses on pain, anxiety, sleep. We will focus on the auto immune side.”

As the matter came to a vote, Council was unanimous in granting the business license. All councillors agreed it was just another business for Kimberley, although they also all agreed to limit the license to dispensing, not growing.

Council also granted a business license to DB  Kimberley Botanicals, with the same no-growing clause.

“I’m not closed to the idea of growing, but I don’t think we’re quite there,” said Coun. Nigel Kitto.

Mayor Don McCormick said that the federal government appeared to have the goal of having a few large manufacturers rather than small growers.