Update: At Tuesday’s city council meeting Mayor Walt Cobb said if Mary Jane’s continues to operate while its business licence has been revoked it will be charged $250 a day.
A Williams Lake marijuana dispensary that has been the subject of search warrants and charges in recent years has had its business licence revoked by the City.
“As a result of unauthorized and unregulated sales of cannabis and related products at Mary Jane’s, in contravention of the terms of the business licence and the Williams Lake Business Licence Bylaw No 1523, 1995, council resolved to revoke the licence for Mary Jane’s Glass and Gifts, effective immediately,” the City said in a press release issued Tuesday.
Business Licence Revoked for Mary Jane's Glass & Gifts https://t.co/nTugCrG1Jk
— City Williams Lake (@CityWL) May 30, 2018
The owner had been given notice of a hearing of council and an invitation to speak to council, however, no one attended, the City said.
Mark Cowan, who manages the store, and actually attended Monday evening’s cannabis bylaw open house hosted by the City, said he was surprised by the move and would love an opportunity to defend his business himself.
“I was not aware of the meeting with council because my business partner was invited but I had not been invited,” Cowan told the Tribune. “I believe they sent lawyers on their behalf.”
Had he been invited to meet, Cowan said he definitely would have responded and has a community that would also defend him.
“I have range of professionals to health care immediates to death bed who could speak on my behalf on what we do in the community and how we are a help. It is a disappointment to hear that the City of Williams Lake has tried to remove our business licence here.”
Cowan said he has not even had the opportunity to defend himself in court, and was speaking with one of the company’s chief executive officers who said they will send documents again to the City.
As of Tuesday afternoon the store’s doors remained open, he confirmed.
“Nothing happens quickly in law and perhaps this is why the lawyers didn’t meet with the City on the date specified. Hopefully we will be in conversation with the City right away. We are not shy to be part of the community, that’s for sure. We like to make our voices and our community’s voices heard, rather than just our lawyers’ voices.”
The City said although changes will be coming to the legal sale of cannabis, there is currently no legal authority to have a cannabis retail business and city council is concerned the sale of unregulated and unapproved cannabis products poses a potential risk to public health and safety.
Additionally, the City said the continued operation of illegal businesses places a significant burden on police resources, adding city council does not object to cannabis retail sales or production, as long as the businesses are adhering with federal, provincial and city laws and regulations.