A petition to keep a marijuana dispensary business open in Williams Lake is gaining momentum.
Customers have been flocking to show support for Mary Jane’s Gifts and Glass who had its business license revoked by the City after RCMP cited unauthorized and unregulated sales of cannabis and related products.
“I haven’t decided when I will deliver the petition to the City,” said manager Mark Cowan Wednesday, noting he has received almost 1,600 signatures in about four days. “We are getting so much support. I don’t know where the pressure is coming from to have us closed down.”
Mayor Walt Cobb said the pressure to close the store is coming from the fact the store is operating illegally.
“The RCMP have to uphold the law and he’s breaking the law every day that he is open,” Cobb said. “I know we got a whole report from the RCMP on how many times people have talked to them with concerns about it.”
Once a business has its licence revoked and continues to operate it can be subject to a $250-a-day fine in Williams Lake, and on Wednesday, a bylaw officer hand-delivered a fine notice, Cowan said.
When asked how much the fine was, Cowan said he had not opened it up yet.
In the meantime, Cowan is still hopeful he can meet with the City and last week told the Tribune he had hand delivered and sent by registered mail a letter, dated May 30, in response to the store’s licence being cancelled.
The letter outlines his understanding that lawyers were scheduled to meet with the City on Mary Jane’s behalf, but were not able to because of scheduling conflicts.
Cowan has managed the store since it opened on Jan. 14, 2017 and said he can produce affidavits from supporters and members of the community stating the store has a positive influence in the community.
“I am seeking an open discussion on this matter as soon as possible, be it private, public or both,” he noted in the letter.
Cobb said city council has no problem meeting with Cowan, but it won’t change the decision they’ve made.
As for Mary Jane’s petition, Cobb said it won’t make a difference either.
“He doesn’t seem to understand. You see people on Facebook saying “it’s medicinal,” but that’s crap, what he’s selling is not medicinal.”