Kyle Cheyne was in a Duncan court yesterday (Tues) to face charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking in relation to a 2017 raid on his store in Chemainus.

Cheyne said the judge in the case said requiring outlets to close down to get a license after the legalization of cannabis is a failure and makes little sense.

“He (the judge) gave us an absolute discharge and in his words, he said, it’s a fail, it’s a complete fail, legalization in Canada right now. Telling people who have already been operating to close down to hopefully get a license is very wrong. It’s not just about the wait, it’s not just about the regulation, it’s about the laws and the Charter of Rights.”

Cheyne said his store in Chemainus will now remain closed until he gets a provincial license.

He is frustrated about the process because while his store is being raided, illicit drugs are being sold in the alley behind the shop.

“He has been meeting people on his bicycle in the back and I’ve been saying have you ever even questioned people like this. These people have been known for selling other drugs in the community. They are hurting people with these other drugs and then people like us, who have proven we are trying our hardest just to fulfill the needs of medical patients, we are being attacked the most and being told we are criminals.”

He said he’s got applications for 7 provincial licenses in the system and it’s a matter of moving through the various municipal bylaws to open his retail stores.

Cheyne said, at this point, his store in Courtenay is the furthest along in the process and he expects it will open and be selling cannabis, legally, in April.

Of his Chemainus store, Cheyne says, according to North Cowichan bylaws it’s situated in the right place, so it’s just a matter of getting through the public hearing, the various reviews and readings and then the Municipality will send a letter to the province supporting the shop.

After that, Cheyne says it shouldn’t take too long to get a provincial license.