Vancouver’s self-styled “Prince of Pot” says city hall and the police department are trying to run him out of town. Marc Emery has a political campaign office, a magazine and a retail store based on West Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver — but the marijuana activist said he’s hitting a wall when it comes to getting business licences.
In the past, Emery said, he hasn’t needed a business licence because everything was run under the umbrella of his political party, the B.C. Marijuana Party.
But Emery said all that has changed.
“We’ve complied with every government order, renovation order, health order, safety order. We are completely compliant every time they have a request,” he said.
“They can’t say we are a bad business, but they are just looking for every possible reason to deny us a licence to get rid of us in advance of the Olympics.
“This [the Olympics]is why all this pressure is on. The police are trying to get rid of all their antagonists. This is all police-driven,” Emery said.
According to documents filed at Vancouver city hall, Emery applied for a business licence for a convenience store across the street from his marijuana-related businesses in 2008.
He was rejected because he has a criminal record for a marijuana-related offence.
City hall then demanded he get business licences for his other enterprises, but he was denied, Emery said. He is appealing those rulings.
“We have millions of supporters. We draw thousands of tourists to this block. So in the days leading up to our licence application we are going to make sure the phones at city hall are flooded days in advance,” he said.
Emery said if he doesn’t get the licences, he might have to close down.
No one from Vancouver city hall was available to comment on the case.
– Article from CBC News on March 23, 2009.