Cannabis Culture: Hotpot
Hemp BC & Cannabis Cafe may close
The owner of Vancouver’s first marijuana joint expects to be out of
business by the end of the week.
“I will honour the wishes of the court and I will close Hemp B.C. and the
Cannabis Cafe,” Shelley Francis (a.k.a. Sister Icee) said yesterday.
Francis thinks Justice Thomas Melnick will grant the city an injunction
this week to close the two marijuana emporiums in the 300-block West
Lawyers for Francis last week launched a judicial review in B.C. Supreme
Court against city council’s refusal to grant Francis a business licence
after a controversial show-cause hearing.
“I’m saddened by the narrow-mindedness of the city council that would
perpetuate this stupidness that has been going on for five years,” said
Francis, who bought the two businesses from Marc Emery in March 1998.
She said she has been unfairly targeted by police and city council.
“We are high-profile political activists here, speaking out against unjust
marijuana laws in this country. Those laws criminalize otherwise
hard-working and innocent Canadians.”
George Macintosh, a high-profile lawyer retained by the city, argued in
court that council had grounds to deny a licence, and asked for an
injunction to shut the two operations down.
“I guess they’ve won,” said Francis. “I think our days are numbered, but I
will not close Hemp B.C. until a judge orders me to. I will always continue
this fight to decriminalize marijuana. It’s one that has to be fought.”
Neighbouring merchants said they’ll be disappointed to see the end of Hemp
B.C., which was featured in Rolling Stone magazine, the Wall Street Journal
and the New York Times and was supported by the B.C. Civil Liberties
Association and a petition signed by 10,000 people.
“They’re very good for the neighbourhood,” said Don Vincent, part-owner of
Bassix, a music store.
“It’s going to be bad for business down here if they’re shut down.
“They’ve brought down a lot of people between the ages of 18 to 28, which
is also our age-group target. People that are here shopping now are
middle-class kids and young adults with money.
“It became a really happening block. If they leave, it’ll bring a lot less
affluent people down here. And it’s going to be taken over more by junkies
Cannabis Culture asks you to take a moment and pen a few words to Vancouver
and Canadian newspapers and media.
We need people from around the world to write in that they looked to Hemp
BC and Vancouver as a beacon of hope and tolerance, and that the people of
Vancouver should not allow that beacon to be snuffed out.
Vancouver Sun: [email protected]
The Province: [email protected]
The Globe & Mail: [email protected]
The National Post: [email protected]
Vancouver Courier: [email protected]
Vancouver Echo: [email protected]
The Hotpot is part of Cannabis Culture’s resource archive. If you have a submission for The Hotpot, send it to
PO Box 15, 199 West Hastings, Vancouver BC,
Canada V6B 1H4