A Vernon medical cannabis retailer says a BC court ruling could shut down the shops for several years.
Russ Stevenson of Herb’s Healing Centre says the Supreme Court ruling involving the City of Vancouver versus Karuna sided with the City which has been trying to close dozens of unlicensed medical retailers.
“Part of the case (for the shops) was the fact that these stores are reasonable access, and the way the judgement came out, we lost on all counts, so that means (the ruling) determined we are not reasonable access for medical patients, so we will have no medical stores for five years,” Stevenson tells Beach Radio News.
Stevenson says a government review of the stores could take five years, and will make no changes until then.
He says it means medical patients will only be able to buy recreational products online, from licensed producers, who won’t be able to offer the same scope and quality as the stores.
“No shops, no quality products, no high strength oils, no extracts, no lotions or edibles. This is all stuff we won in the Supreme Court already.”
Stevenson says he will be keeping his store in the Alpine Centre open, until police decide they will crack down on the operations.
“I’m not going to shut down until I’m in handcuffs. That way my patients can’t sue me because that’s a definite situation right now, whereas any club that’s running medical and shuts down, we are the same as LP’s (licensed producers) that don’t have pot. We can all be sued, so that’s why my lawyer said whatever you do, you do not shut down, so that’s why we’ve stayed open for our patients.”
He says LP’s (licensed producers) that have sold out of pot that has been promised to patients, that they hold the license for, those are going to be 5 to 10 million dollar lawsuits per patient, so we’re going to see this get really, really messy.”
Stevenson says he’s collecting letters of support from his patients, which he plans to use in a future court case.
“It’s really hard to say where this will go now.”