Aaron Gresham behind the counter of wellness products

Shop not just about selling medicinal pot

Controversial marijuana dispensary still waiting on business licence

Aaron Gresham said WeeMedical Wellness Centre in Parksville is trying to prove to city council and the whole community that it’s super professional.

Gresham, who’s volunteering at the medical marijuana dispensary, said WeeMedical opened on Hirst Avenue in Parksville around mid-February.

“Everybody seems to be loving it so far,” said Gresham.

Everyone, perhaps, except Parksville city council.

Last Monday (March 6), city council approved a pair of motions. One requested an appeal to the RCMP to close down the existing shop; the other directed city staff to begin developing a regulatory regime anticipating the eventual legalization of marijuana.

At the meeting, Mayor Marc Lefebvre said he wanted to see WeeMedical shut down.

“When I was elected mayor I was elected to uphold the law, and I swore that I would uphold the law,” Lefebvre said. “The law in Canada still states that this kind of operation is illegal and I’m not interested in having an illegal operation in my city.”

In the first two weeks of being open, Gresham said a bylaw officer, who was really nice, did stop by and ask about their business licence. Gresham said at the time, he told the officer the business licence was pending.

Gresham said he doesn’t know what’s going on with the business licence at this point.

Despite no business licence on the premise, Gresham said WeeMedical has been getting business from locals. The customer base, he said, is 45 years and older.

“We don’t get much young people in here,” he said. “The only young person that I’ve seen in here is probably around 25 and they bought a water bottle.”

Gresham said the public has nothing to worry about when it comes to selling to underage kids.

WeeMedical Society has 16 locations in B.C., including two dispensaries in Nanaimo and Campbell River and one in Port Alberni.

The Parksville location is a wellness centre, which Gresham said offers items other than medicinal marijuana, such as health products.

“It’s a little bit of everything,” he said.

If anything, Gresham said, council’s reaction to medicinal marijuana stores reminds him of the prohibition period.

“I know they want to wait until it’s obviously federally legal and I totally understand that,” he said. But I think in this day and age, you really need to understand that so many people do use marijuana for medicinal reasons.

“They shouldn’t just be throwing everything out and refusing people to get their own medicine within their own town and having them drive all the way to Nanaimo just to purchase their medicine.”

Comments on The NEWS’ website and Facebook page, showed that the majority are in favour of the new store.

One commenter said: “This is a needed commodity. It helps people. Think beyond teenage potheads, for Pete’s sake!”

However, there were people who were on the other end of the spectrum, commenting to “shut it the hell down now!!!!”

In the end, Gresham said the shop will probably end up getting shut down.

“I could probably say a lot, but it’s probably not going to change their mind,” he said. “They’re (Parksville city council) pretty stubborn when it comes to the medicinal marijuana shops within Parksville.”

 

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