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BC Cannabis in Penticton ruffled feathers its first weekend

BC Cannabis broke bylaw

Chelsea Powrie

Penticton's new government cannabis retail store ruffled some feathers during its first weekend in operation when it broke local bylaws and stayed open an hour late on both Friday and Saturday. 

The BC Cannabis shop is operated by the BC Liquor Distribution Board, but is subject to local regulations when it comes to operating hours. In Penticton, the cutoff is 8 p.m. for all cannabis stores, so local private competitors were miffed when they saw the store open until 9 p.m. this past weekend. 

"We had a few private retailers voice concerns, which was valid," said Ken Kunka, deputy director of development services with the City of Penticton.

"So we just provided a reminder to them, and they came into compliance right away."

Viviana Zanocco with the BC Liquor Distribution Board said it all came down to a misunderstanding.

"When we applied to the City of Penticton, our application for the store included the hours," she said, adding that in other municipalities, 9 p.m. is a common cutoff time, while some can stay open as late as 11 p.m. 

"When it was approved, I guess we just assumed our hours were approved."

She acknowledged it was their error, and notes the sign on the door has been fixed and the bylaw won't be broken again. 

"It was actually a private retailer that brought it to our attention," Zanocco said. "So it was good, we appreciate that they brought it to our attention."

With the slightly rocky start behind them, the store will now close at 8 p.m. at the latest like all other cannabis retail stores in Penticton.



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