Thursday, April 28, 2022

Okanagan pot retailers sue province over illegal on-reserve pot shops

A group of pot retailers in the Okanagan and Shuswap have banded together and are suing the province, alleging it has failed to enforce the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act on First Nations reserves.
The plaintiffs include 14 companies in Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, and Salmon Arm. There has been a proliferation of unlicensed retail outlets on reserves, a fact confirmed by government. The group points out 70 unlicensed pot retails were busted by the end of 2021, and none of them were on reserves. The group is complaining of unfair competition from bootleg operators.
The group says there are as many as 50 illegal cannabis sellers operating on reserves in the Okanagan. They pay no excise or sales taxes and are not regulated. Many are controlled by organized crime they say.