A pair of cannabis dispensaries have recently been issued cease and desist letters from the City of Powell River. WeeMedical Dispensary Society and Grassroots Botanical Wellness Cooperative were ordered to cease their operations for violating bylaws and could be facing daily fines of $15,000 if they refuse.

The city originally planned on waiting until the results of the appeal against a City of Abbotsford injunction before issuing these letters, but the council met privately on May 5th and chose to go ahead with the letters to these dispensaries. Weeds Glass and Gifts has already appealed a previous cease and desist order, and is waiting on a decision by the appellate court.

Dan Clarke, Grassroots co-op director, places the blame on WeeMedical for the attention that both dispensaries are now getting from the city. “My place has been totally quiet before this. There were no complaints from the RCMP or city council. I’ve been strict about getting medical documentation from people, and I’ve been above board and as official as possible,” said Clarke. He says that he made an effort to stay out of the spotlight of the city before, noting that “We talked to city council before we opened and we tried to work with the city as much as possible. We left ourselves in a place where we could be casually ignored.”

Susie Martyn, citizen of Powell River, sees big problems for the patients who depended on these dispensaries being open and accessible. “Someone I know has gone through hell with autism and severe anxiety disorder, and it’s the only thing that’s taken the edge off for her. This is horrible. It’s a shame that the city did this because dispensaries are actually providing a service that is helping people who really need it,” she says.

We will provide updates to this story as it unfolds.