Fearing raids from the RCMP, five dispensaries in Vernon have agreed to open on a rotating basis to avoid leaving medical patients without options.

After police threatened the shops to shut down or face enforcement action, four of the five shops will suspend operations each day, with one shop always open to minimize risk but still serve the community. There will be no set, regular schedule for which dispensaries are open, or when.

“If we all close down at the same time, we have patients that are terminally ill and by doing that, we are not actually holding any compassion,” said Vernon MMJ Total Health Care president Jeff Gaudette.

Herbal Health Centre operator Imre Kovacs said police have created an uncertain situation for the Vernon dispensaries, and the businesses have tried to create the same situation for police.

“We’re not sure exactly what that’s going to look like and we don’t really want to let everybody know how that’s going to look because that’s going to take away the whole point,” said Kovacs.

The Vernon shops hope that the Liberal government’s pledge to legalize cannabis will bring relief from police pressure.

“We’re suggesting that we have a moratorium until the federal government gives us a little more clarity and direction as to where they’re going with regulation and their legalization platform,” said Kovacs.

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