Patients left in the lurch

Russ Stevenson has been selling medical marijuana for years, but now that marijuana can be used recreationally, he can no longer sell medically.

Stevenson runs Herb's Healing Centre in the Alpine Plaza and he was fined $1,000 by the city because he was operating without a license.

He was also told the provincial task force that is shutting down dispensaries around the province will visit him next week.

“We set up as a medical store, we have always run as a medical store and now because of the recreational system they think they can come in and shut down medical stores. That's not OK,” said Stevenson. “I've got people at hospice house that are counting on me. We donate product to the people at hospice house on a daily basis. For us to get shut down and take away the only option for these people, when the government doesn't even sell the products we sell, is just not OK.”
While people can purchase marijuana online or from a government store in Kamloops, Stevenson said they do not sell topicals, oils, edibles and other products patients have come to rely on.

Stevenson does not sell any product for recreational use and the only way to buy from him is with a doctors referral.

During the interview with Castanet, Stevenson turned away a buyer because they did not have the proper paperwork.

Stevenson said court battles have already been fought, and won, for the right to sell medical marijuana products like topicals and oils, and not being allowed to sell such products is a step backwards.

Stevenson is asking his clients to contact Mayor Victor Cumming with their concerns.

In the meantime, Stevenson is warning his customers he may be forced to shut down next week.

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