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BC’s 1st Private Licence Issued

Kimberley is host to the first private licensed cannabis retail store licence in BC. Tamarack Cannabis Boutique’s licence was granted on Nov. 1, 2018. The store was previously granted a business license from Kimberley to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in June 2015 and August 17, 2018 submitted an application for a licensed store.

Tamara Duggan is the store’s owner and held an exclusive interview with Cannabis Retailer.

What was your biggest challenge getting a licence?

I feel that the biggest challenge for me in obtaining a licence was to overcome my personal need for privacy. This application process delves heavily into the applicant’s past with regard to employment history going back 20 years (including providing past employer’s names and contact information), their lifetime criminal history (declaring both charges and convictions, including juvenile records), and a thorough compilation of the applicant’s financial background (including bank accounts, debts, assets, income sources, etc.) and providing your parents’ names and contact information as well.

What advice would you give people applying for a licence?

Be as thorough as possible.  Accurately follow all the steps outlined by the LCRB in the application pages. If you fail to provide complete information at the beginning, it is going to cost you time in the long run, as they will request it, but then your application gets bumped back into the queue. As well, be honest, as they have a long reach, and if you fail, for example, to report a criminal charge, they will obtain that information anyway, so you would be better off declaring that from the outset.

And secondly, begin networking in your community NOW if you haven’t already. If you want to speed up the application process, contact your local council members, get a chance to present your business plan to city council, join the Chamber of Commerce and get your business noticed. These relationships will benefit you in the long run as you will have cemented yourself as a legitimate business person who is considerate of their community. Be sure to present yourself as business-like as possible in order to be accepted by mainstream businesses. A lot of communities have currently or in the past, had poor experiences with vape stores or medical pot shops and may be reluctant to support cannabis, so unless you use due diligence in promoting yourself as a legitimate business person you may encounter some resistance.

Main Photo: Michael Tan, Executive Director and Jessica Ogryzlo, Manager Customer Experience, Cannabis Operations BC Liquor Distribution Branch with Tamara Duggan, Owner, Tamarack Cannabis Boutique.