A Vernon cannabis retailer is going to challenge the province’s regulations by keeping his store open on Oct 17th.
Russ Stevenson of Herb’s Healing Centre in the Alpine Centre says he will sell edibles and other products, but only to his 500 current medical customers (no recreational), and he won’t charge them for the product, just the taxes.
“They can’t charge you with trafficking if you’re giving the product away,” Stevenson tells Beach Radio News.
Stevenson says his lawyer has told him edibles are legal to make and share, but you won’t legally be able to sell them under the BC rules.
“I think it will really throw a wrench into their plans if they come in to arrest me and find out all I’m doing is charging the tax that goes to the government, and everything else is free. I think that is really going to make a statement that we’re here for our customers.”
Stevenson says there’s a good chance he could be arrested by taking his stance, but he doesn’t want to see his customers suffer, by going without their medicine.
“If we don’t take this stand, I believe we’re going to lose the medical (cannabis) system. These patients need access. Reasonable access is why we’re here”
Stevenson says his store currently makes an average of $4,000-$6,000 a day in sales.
He says they will stay open until 7 pm on the night before legalization occurs to allow their medical and recreational customers to “stock up.”
Stevenson has served layoff notices to his five staff members which will take effect on the Oct. 16th, and he will operate the store by himself after that.