Tamara Duggan, co-owner of Tamarack Cannabis Boutique in Marysville. Submitted file. Tamara Duggan, co-owner of Tamarack Cannabis Boutique in Marysville. Submitted file.

‘I was the guinea pig’: B.C. pot shop owner says cannabis licensing process wasn’t easy

Tamarack Cannabis Boutique in Cranbrook will be the first retail cannabis store in the province to be granted a licence from the provincial government

Kimberley was the first community in British Columbia to grant business licences to two medical marijuana dispensaries, Tamarack Dispensaries and Earth’s Own Naturals.

Now, Tamarack Cannabis Boutique will be the first retail cannabis store in the province to be granted a licence from the provincial government. They received it on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. And Earth’s Own will also be receiving their business licence, says owner Laurie Weitzel.

The process requires security screening and financial integrity checks, support from the local government or First Nation and a store inspection.

It’s been a bit of a slog through the process for Tamarack owners Rod and Tamara Duggan. Tamara says they applied shortly after the provincial government opened up the approval process in mid-August.

“It took until yesterday when they called to say approval had been granted,” she said. “On Tuesday night I had the inspection with Liquor and Cannabis BC and they said we were done, just go online, pay the annual licence fee and you’re good.”

However, she went online to discover that the site was down for testing.

READ MORE: 10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

READ MORE: Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

“I wouldn’t say the entire process was easy,” Duggan said. “Every time I completed one step, I would find out something else is required.

“They were only one step ahead of me the whole way. I was the guinea pig because I was first to apply. So to the folks who come behind me, you’re welcome.”

With all that behind them, the Duggans are excited to enter the new phase of their business, but will have to close until the product ordered through the government arrives. They were open, and very busy, on Thursday.

“I will now be closed until I receive the cannabis products,” she said Thursday. “They will probably arrive some time next week. It’s the first time for me to do that ordering, so there will probably be a few glitches. But because I am the first one order, I get the pick of the crop!”

Tamarack will have a grand re-opening as soon as the stock arrives.

WATCH: Inside a B.C.-based marijuana production facility

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick is pleased to see the licences granted.

“Tamarack’s behaviour as a business, under difficult circumstances the last two and half years, has made them a model for other retailers,” he said.

“They have given tens of thousands of dollars to non-profits, given back to the community. This makes them a model for all other cannabis retailers.”

McCormick also says that the two businesses have operated in Kimberley for the past two and a half years and there have been absolutely no problems.

“In two and a half years, there has not been one formal complaint. Both have been awesome businesses.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island All Candidates Meeting scheduled virtually for Oct. 14

‘our local candidates for the B.C. Provincial Election will be joining us’

Abandoned Neucel mill in Port Alice to cost at least $17 million to decommission

Removing hazardous waste and de-risking the site ratchet up bill to taxpayers

Growing food sovereignty at Klemtu

Greenhouse and grow boxes help create circular food economy for Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nations

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Gratitude is a great thing, what are you grateful for?

‘I want to say a heartfelt thanks to Steven Cahill for all his hard work over the years’

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

B.C. salmon farm opponents demand answers from DFO

First Nations, conservation groups dismayed by omission of sea lice in risk assessments

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Most Read