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.

Just Posted

Most of Salmon Arm’s Downtown Activity Centre tenants have found new homes

Too little, too late, say those who have been asked to stay, pending a new real estate deal

Salmon Arm, Sicamous to get $3 million for affordable housing projects

Province provides funding for 4,900 new affordable mixed-income rental homes across the province

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Crash on Highway 97B near Salmon Arm downs powerlines

Emergency crews responding to a crash south of 10th Avenue SE

Salmon Arm family receives arena dedication for construction support

Bill and Doug Newnes, Newnes Machine recognized for their contribution

Your morning news in 90: Nov. 15, 2018

Tune in for 90 seconds to get the top headlines for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Sicamous RCMP catch two for driving offences

One prohibited and one impaired driver taken off the road

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

EU divorce deal in peril after two UK Cabinet ministers quit

Negotiators from Britain and the European Union have struck a proposed divorce deal that will be presented to politicians on both sides for approval, officials in London and Brussels said Tuesday.

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at B.C. naval base

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

Northern California fire death toll at 56; 130 missing

Many of the missing are elderly and from Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 to the north of Paradise.

Most Read