The City of Vernon’s communications manager Nick Nilsen provided the following response to how it is handling the situation with Herb’s Healing Centre:
“The City of Vernon does not comment on individual cases as these are private matters between a citizen and the City. What I can say is that all businesses must have a business license and, if applicable, permits to operate within the City of Vernon. If any business owners have questions about their own situation we encourage them to contact the City directly,” said Nilsen in a statement
A medical cannabis retailer in Vernon, who has defied the rules and stayed open since legalization, feels the City of Vernon may now be supporting him.
Russ Stevenson of Herb’s Healing Centre in the Alpine Centre was fined $1,000 by the City last Friday for remaining open, but he feels that was due to him not signing a page of his business license which he’s now cleared up.
“All I had to do yesterday was sign a piece of paper and they say this is all over. Now I will have a business license on the wall next week, and as far as the city is concerned, I’m good to go. It doesn’t mean the province aren’t coming, but as far as the city problems, it looks like it’s cured,” Stevenson tells Beach Radio News.
Stevenson has not paid the fine.
He’s now waiting for provincial approval which he feels could happen fairly soon.
“Their system is falling apart rapidly so they’re going to need to bring people back in. They can’t be messing with the patients so I think at this point they’re going to take the easiest way out offers us all licenses to carry n, and it’s probably going to happen fairly quick.”
The store owner has paid the initial $7,500 provincial license fee, with requires another $1,500 if its approved.
Stevenson has emailed all the city councillors to try to meet with them, and he says one has now replied.
Scott Anderson will go to the shop Saturday to talk about his concerns.
Stevenson says he’s had about 30 people coming in a day to get their medicine.
“We’re running medical (cannabis), and the city told me three weeks ago, they would start fining me if I was running medical. Obviously they’ve backed off on that because the bylaw (officer) said if I sign that piece of paper (for business license) and hand it to him, he won’t be back, so it’s like okay, I’ll sign that.”
Beach Radio News has requested comment from the City of Vernon, but has so far, not heard back.