Halifax brings fight against cannabis store to N.S. Supreme Court

Other cannabis shops in Halifax Regional Municipality could be forced to shut down if the city is successful in its court action against Coastal Cannapy Medical Dispensary.

'We want to see what the Supreme Court does with this one and then we'll go from there'

Halifax Regional Municipality is taking Coastal Cannapy Medical Dispensary, located in this building on Agricola Street, to court for operating without a permit. (Steve Berry/CBC)

Halifax Regional Municipality is taking the fight against cannabis shops to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

The municipality has applied for an order to close Coastal Cannapy Medical Dispensary Inc. on Agricola Street after the shop remained open in violation of a provincial court order, according to a news release from the city.

The retail shop and landlord pleaded guilty on Dec. 1 to operating without a permit and Coastal Cannapy was ordered to close.

HRM spokesperson Brendan Elliott said the city is not involving the police, but enforcing the land-use bylaws in place.

Elliott said the business applied for a development permit, which was denied.

Municipal spokesperson Brendan Elliot says the cannabis shop refused to close despite a provincial court order. (Steve Berry/CBC)

"We deny all development permits for anyone who wants to sell something illegal," he said.

"They continued to operate and we see this as a flagrant ignorance of the bylaw. They know that they're not supposed to be operating and yet they still are. So we were left with no other choice but to take it to the next level."

Coastal Cannapy Medical Dispensary declined to comment through a Facebook message to CBC.

Storefront operations selling cannabis, including medicinal cannabis, are illegal under federal law.

In Nova Scotia, those stores will still be illegal after cannabis possession is no longer a crime, as only the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation will be allowed to sell and dispense the drug.

Other cannabis shops in Halifax Regional Municipality could be forced to shut down if the city is successful in its court action against Coastal Cannapy Medical Dispensary. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Elliott said this is a unique case as the owners, store name and parties involved with Coastal Cannapy all stayed the same even after the provincial order. The city hopes that consistency will help sway the court ruling.

"Some of the other organizations or businesses that are operating are definitely still under investigation by us. We want to see what the Supreme Court does with this one and then we'll go from there."

Elliott said Nova Scotia Supreme Court has "a bit more weight" and hopes, if the ruling is in favour of the municipality, a sheriff can be authorized to change the locks and force the business to permanently close.

A hearing date has not been set.