One of Kamloops’ two remaining illegal cannabis shops raided by the provincial Community Safety Unit (CSU) on July 31 has closed while the other remains open for the time being.
Canadian Safe Cannabis Society (CSCS) at 405 Tranquille Rd. in North Kamloops and Boomer’s Bud at 107-1295 Halston Ave. in Brocklehurst re-opened the day after the raids, but CSCS has since closed, according to the compassion club’s lawyer, Shawn Buckley.
Buckley said he visited the shop for several hours as employees were packing up on Aug. 6.
“Customers were coming in and there were a lot of tears,” Buckley said.
On Aug. 1, CSCS posted on its Facebook page that it was restocking and expected to re-open.
“It’s wrong what the government is doing to sick medical cannabis user,” the company posted. “People over profit!”
Buckley said it was an internal decision by CSCS to subsequently shut down.
He said the problem for any compassion club targeted by the CSU is that the unit can continue to return to the store, seize product and levy fine after fine.
“The reality is you can’t withstand that regardless of your ethical and other legal obligations to the people you’re helping,” Buckley said.
CSCS is known to sell marijuana for medicinal purposes, but isn’t regulated by federal or provincial laws.
Buckley said he has received many calls from cancer patients who depended on CSCS for medicinal marijuanas.
He said they are concerned because they cannot afford to buy medicinal marijuana from a licensed producer.
“They know they’re hurting people by closing,” Buckley said, adding he does not know if the store’s owner, Carl Anderson, will attempt to open a new, legal cannabis shop in Kamloops.
As for Boomer’s Bud, City of Kamloops business licence inspector Dave Jones said he spoke with the store’s general manager, who told Jones he was staying open at the direction of ownership, but would let him know if they will reconsider their position.
“As of yesterday [Sunday], I noticed they were still open,” Jones told KTW on Monday.
“So I haven’t had a call from the ownership or the manager from that store yet to determine if they’re going to be closing the doors.”
Jones said the CSU informed him it has provided the two raided businesses with lists of the items seized. Buckley confirmed he received the list, but noted the CSU unit has not yet levied a fine.
“We’re hoping they don’t levy a fine,” Buckley said, adding he cannot disclose if he is asking the CSU to drop the fine.
If a fine is issued to CSCSs there is an appeal process that can be undertaken, but Buckley described that process as “extremely limited.”
Fines levied by the CSU are equal to double the sale price of each product seized, which could amount to a hefty financial penalty.