The number of so called ‘pot shops’ has been rising in Vernon which has one city councillor wondering what can be done.
Dalvir Nahal says she’s not against marijuana stores, but is concerned no one is regulating them to ensure standards are met.
“I myself use oils because of my health problems. My concern is there is so many popping up and there is nobody regulating or watching what is sold.”
Chief administrative officer Will Pearce says none of the shops are licensed to sell pot because it’s illegal.
“The city does not license illegal activity. None have a license to sell marijuana.”
He says RCMP are reluctant to enforce the laws because Crown counsel won’t support them with charges.
Pearce says the city is waiting for Ottawa to provide guidelines once it legalizes pot use by next July.
“While we have a number of the shops, we don’t enforce it –RCMP do. The City is waiting for a clearer picture from the federal government. Right now we are operating in a framework essentially without any rules, “said Pearce.
Mayor Akbal Mund says it’s a grey area for municipalities with Ottawa planning regulations next July.
“You could waste that time and effort and get no where, and that’s the issue here. Do you want to put all those resources into that and accomplish nothing? That could be the case,” Mund tells Kiss FM.
Nahal says she would like to see some action against the stores operating illegally.
“We are stuck between a rock and a hard place. What I would like to see if, if they are operating without a business license, to maybe see some fines and we could use that money and put it towards some charities or other issues that we have,” says Nahal.