CANNABIS CULTURE – Marc Emery returned to Vancouver City Hall yesterday to argue for a business license for his CCHQ Store in Vancouver, home of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and again the proceedings ended unresolved.
The City of Vancouver originally refused to grant several business licenses to Emery’s limited company, Avalon Sunsplash Ltd., which owns and operates the CCHQ Store, Cannabis Culture Magazine and the Pot-TV Network and the 420 Convenience Store (now closed).
Last May, Marc appeared in front of a panel of three city council members who would decide the fate of his businesses, but time ran out before a resolution (Click here to read “The City of Vancouver vs CCHQ, Round One“.)
Since that time, Marc decided to close the 420 Convenience Store and withdraw his request for a license for the unoccupied second floor of the building, leaving only the license request for the CCHQ store.
At yesterday’s continuation of the hearing, the city brought forward several police witnesses who discussed the many times they had entered the building housing Marc’s store at 307 W. Hastings St, in uniform and undercover. Much of the talk focused on the BC Marijuana Party (BCMP), which has an office at a different address in the same building where members use Volcano Vaporizers.
“I think what’s happening is the city lawyer is basically trying to link the activities of the BCMP on the third floor – where it invites members to come and learn about the party and donate time and money to help end prohibition – to Avalon Sunsplash on the first floor, to deny them a business license,” said Avalon Sunsplash’s attorney Kirk Tousaw.
In an attempt to paint Marc as a nuisance to the local business community, one of the officers spoke about Marc’s attempt to open a store on Commercial Drive, which was eventually denied by the landlord after he was called and intimidated by police.
Despite some strange comments and attempts to link Marc to unrelated drug cases, the police had many good things to say about Marc, the CCHQ store, and the BCMP.
“None of the police officers had anything to say about 307 W. Hastings, the subject of the hearing” said Tousaw. “I think we wasted a lot of time and taxpayer money yesterday, essentially proving nothing more than that the BCMP is a place where people who want to end marijuana prohibition can come and find like-minded people.”
As Marc noted himself on his Facebook page, the police at the hearing said “that my stores were tourist attractions, well-run with polite, professional staff, breaking no laws, creating no street disorder, registering no complaints. It was excellent. The hearing continues again in late September.”
The next hearing will be on September 22, 2009 at 9:30am. Both Emery and Tousaw are confident that Avalon Sunsplash will eventually receive its license.
“I certainly can’t fathom City Council saying to a successful, vibrant business in the downtown core, that attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year to the city, that employs a number of people, and that puts more than a million dollars a year into the local economy – I cant see the city closing that down so there is another vacant building in the 300 block of West Hastings.”
Emery forced to wait longer
by Daniel Tam
The Metro news
Vancouver-based pot activist Marc Emery will have to wait longer to obtain his business licences after yesterday’s hearing at city hall ended without a decision.
Emery, director of Avalon Sunsplash Ltd., has three properties on the 300-block of West Hastings: 420 Convenience Store, Cannabis Culture Magazine and Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Headquarters.
He believes that the city is putting him through an “insulting process of having to essentially beg them” to renew his licences.
“I’m a great excuse for them to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer’s money on fruitless investigations,” Emery said. “(It’s) an opportunity to intimidate a legitimate citizen who’s probably one of the most important political figures in this city.”
Emery is trying to renew his licences before pleading guilty in a Seattle courtroom next month to selling marijuana seeds over the Internet to Americans.
It’s part of a plea deal that saw two of his associates receive probation for their involvement.
Emery is likely to be sentenced to at least five years in jail while his wife would help run his businesses.
“We run one of the most respected, well-run businesses in the city in a difficult neighbourhood like the Downtown Eastside,” said Emery.
“I’m confident we’re going to get our licence like we fully deserve.”
– Article from the Metro