Kimberley Council grants business license to medical marijuana dispensary

Kimberley City Council makes ground-breaking decision to override its own bylaw

Mayor Don McCormick says he is proud of Kimberley City Council for making a progressive decision in the matter of granting a business license to Tamarack Dispensaries.

Tamarack Dispensaries will operate in Marysville and sell high quality medicinal cannabis products such as edible cookies, butters, oils and tinctures. When the proponents, Rod and Tamara Duggan presented to Council in April they said that the storefront would be “upscale and clinical”.

However, granting a business license was not as simple as one might think, because Council had to override its own bylaw to do so.

“Staff was obligated to reject the business license application because it didn’t meet the bylaw for complying with federal regulations,” McCormick said. “But Council can override that bylaw.”

And that is what Council did after a lengthy discussion, focusing mainly on the implications of allowing such a business in Kimberley. The vote was unanimous in favour.

“I am proud of Council for taking a progressive position on what is a controversial issue,” McCormick said. “We are not trying to be controversial, just applying common sense.”

Cannabis dispensaries do operate in a grey area without permits from Health Canada, the mayor says, and most municipalities just turn a blind eye to their existence.

“We are trying to remove it from the grey area and bring it under municipal regulation.

“It’s unclear what the implications are but change is driven by market.

“The picture is not someone smoking pot in a back room. These are derivatives produced to assist with long term illness. This isn’t about pot but a medical solution for chronic pain.”

McCormick points out that many people are prescribed powerful, addictive narcotics to manage illness and pain, and if there is an alternative it only makes sense to explore it.

McCormick said the Duggans presented a very clear business plan and have their own compelling personal reasons for wanting to open the store.

When they visited Council, Tamara Duggan said, ““Our vision is to add a viable, legitimate, and clinical business to Kimberley’s economy. Our research indicates that the presence of medical marijuana dispensaries is a growth industry in Canada with BC being the leader. And it provides a vital enhancement to the government’s Marijuana for Medical Purposes regulations.”


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