Two Penticton cannabis dispensaries granted temporary permits

Canadians are still waiting for recommendations from the federal government’s legalization task force to be made public, but the city of Penticton has moved forward on their own by granting temporary permits to two out of seven applicants seeking to operate medicinal cannabis dispensaries.

Penticton’s mayor and city council approved the permits at a public hearing Dec. 6.

“Both were very professional in the way they conducted business in their business model and really, in our view, we are focused on the medicinal marijuana use,” Penticton mayor Andrew Jakubeit told Global News.

The six-month licenses were granted to Green Essence Head Shop Inc. and Okanagan Cannabinoid Therapy. With one councilor missing, and an initial tie vote, it was councilor Judy Sentes that put the motion back on the floor and changed her mind, voting in favour.

“When it was evident it was going to a stalemate, at that point I couldn’t in my conscience, I couldn’t let that happen,” Sentes said. “It’s not about addiction; this is about medical marijuana use.”

Some of the applicants looking to get a temporary permit to operate a pot dispensary were already open and doing business without a valid permit. One of them had shut down and wasn’t approved due to being too close to an elementary school.