British Columbia

Pot magnate takes Grand Forks to court for refusing retail licence

Weeds Glass and Gifts, owned by Don Briere, bought an unused bus station and planned to open a cannabis shop in Grand Forks, B.C.

Weeds Glass and Gifts bought unused bus station with plans to open cannabis shop

Don Briere is the owner of Weeds Glass and Gifts, which is taking the City of Grand Forks to court after it refused to grant Weeds a retail permit to open a cannabis retail store. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

A Vancouver-based company is taking the City of Grand Forks to court for denying it a permit to open a cannabis shop.

Weeds Glass and Gifts hoped to open a retail pot store in Grand Forks' old Greyhound station.

Greyhound stopped operating in most of Western Canada about a year ago and Weeds owner Don Briere bought the building and applied to city hall for a permit.

But the former bus station is right next to a baseball stadium and park. 

Based on that, city council said "no" at a July 15th variance permit hearing.

The permit was denied in a 4-to-3 vote.

Now the company is going to B.C. Supreme Court to try to have that decision overturned, calling it unreasonable and citing a lack of "procedural fairness," according to a petition filed August 14.  

While attempting to get a retail permit, Weeds was leasing the bus station out to Whispers of Hope, which was operating a homeless shelter in the space.

But that, too, is about to close at the urging of city council.

No one at Grand Forks city hall would comment because the matter is before the courts. 

Grand Forks is one of the few towns in B.C. without legal marijuana sales.

Weeds Glass and Gifts also had licensing problems in Vancouver, where it was forced to shut down some of its marijuana retail stores.