4/20 goes to the dogs

While a controversial 4/20 celebration/rally was held in Vancouver Saturday, a less controversial event was held in Kelowna, featuring many furry, four-legged friends.

For the third year, Quick Grow Kelowna, a local hydroponics store, hosted their 4/20 barbecue SPCA fundraiser outside their store off Kirschner Road.

“We're trying to change the public perception of what 4/20 means and bring it more into a community event that really gives back to our community,” said Darryl Borsato, owner of Quick Grow Kelowna and Vernon.

“We love dogs, we love animals, that's a huge common bond between many of our customers, is that they support a lot of the local animal rescues.”

Borsato said the fundraiser broke Kelowna SPCA's record for the most money raised in a single day last year, raising $9,000 in Kelowna and $7,500 in Vernon. They were hoping to once again beat that record on Saturday.

“To us, 4/20 is just a chance for people to get together. People love to bring their dogs down, they love to get some burgers and hot dogs and donate money and really help out with animal rescue and the prevention of animal cruelty.”

Since the legalization of cannabis six months ago, Borsato says they've seen an influx of people who are just learning to grow the now-legal plant.

In B.C., the province has approved 18 private retail cannabis stores, but the closest one to the Okanagan is in Salmon Arm. Stores in Lake Country and Summerland have been approved by their respective councils for since December, but they're just waiting on the final stamp of approval from the province.

Borsato says a lot of people relied on the old dispensary model for their medicinal cannabis, before recreational cannabis was legalized.

"I think the government really set themselves back by not being more prepared on the retail level," Borsato said. "They need to get the ball rolling a lot faster.

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