Legality, morality clash

The City of Kelowna believes it has the law on its side. Local pot dispensaries claim they are defending morality and people's right to choose.

A Kelowna court will choose who is right early in the new year.

The city filed suit in Kelowna Supreme Court Friday against five of eight storefront operations selling medical marijuana in Kelowna.

Corporate and protective services director Rob Mayne says the city is seeking an injunction to shut down all five because they are operating without a business licence.

Those named include Trichome Valley RX, Green and Hill Industries, TLC Herbal Meds, Brendan Pogue with the Kelowna Compassion Club, and Richard Bell with Starbuds.

While dispensaries have been operating for several years, the city is just now taking stronger measures to shut them down.

"We finally got enough resources available to do investigations and gather the information and put it forward," said Mayne. "When we started this, there were five or six operating, now there are eight. We didn't like the trend. They are operating a business contrary to the law. It's not lawful to distribute, by way of dispensary, medical marijuana."

Mayne said there are ways of legally obtaining medical marijuana through the mail from distributors approved by Health Canada.

Despite the civil action, those named in the suit remain open.

"We are going to fight it. It's our opinion that these laws are unjust and immoral," said Rob Lindsay, manager of Trichome Valley RX.

"They are keeping people from having safe access to cannabis. It's obscene to me they are able to do that."

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