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Victoria pot shop slapped with $1.5 million fine for operating illegally

Last Updated Feb 20, 2020 at 9:22 am PDT

Two men pass a marijuana joint at Cannabis Culture in Montreal, Friday, December 16, 2016. Quebecers under the age of 21 won't be able to buy or possess recreational cannabis as of Wednesday, ushering in the toughest age restrictions in the country since pot was legalized 14 months ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A pot shop that was operating without a license in Victoria has been slapped with a $1.5 million fine

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says additional fines are on the way for pot shops that operate illegally

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – A Victoria pot shop has been slapped with a $1.5 million fine after B.C.’s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says it stayed open without a license.

He says officers have been making the rounds as legislation instructing and warning those operating illegally.

“In order to get fined you have to have ignored the warnings that you’ve received from the community safety on it,” he says. “And the reality is there are laws. There are rules in place. Follow them and you don’t get into trouble.”

He says the rules are clear, and those who fail to follow them will have to deal with the consequences.

Farnworth says it’s been over a year since marijuana legislation and receiving fines shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone operating illegally.

“They need to get with the program and understand that the rules are the rules,” he says. “Community Safety unit is going around looking at all the illegal dispensaries. Many dispensaries were in the process to get a license they shut down when the safety unit went by, and they abide by what was told and they don’t get fined.”

Farnworth says additional fines will be on the way and could impact as many as a dozen more shops.

The amount levied on each depends on the amount of product in place at the time.