KENTVILLE - A budding business in Centre Square has been closed amid concerns about a medical marijuana storefront operating in town.
Police seized roughly $8,000 in cash, cannabis and other related products following a search at the GreenWay Wellness Center on Webster Street Oct. 25, says Kentville police chief Julia Cecchetto.
“It was an illegal business running within the town and, if you watch the news in other parts of the province, you will see that those operations have been robbed and broken into, so it was something that we didn’t want to bring to the town.”
Two women working in the store at the time of the search were arrested and charged with drug trafficking, says Cecchetto.
The search was executed by the Kentville Police Service in conjunction with a Street Crime Enforcement Unit also consisting of RCMP members serving Hants and Kings.
Cecchetto says it is important to remember that marijuana is still illegal and unregulated, meaning the dispensaries are not yet licensed through Health Canada.
“Should we have another one appear, we will address it from a policing point of view,” she says, noting that regulations help ensure products made available to the public are not coming from “unknown parties.”
The provincial Registry of Joint Stock Companies shows one entry for Greenway Wellness Centre and Dispensary listed under a Dartmouth address.
The Kentville location was closed Oct. 26, with a vacant lobby area clearly visible from the alleyway outside of the shop’s entrance.
Beverly Gentleman, director of planning and development for the Town of Kentville, confirmed that the Greenway Wellness Center did not obtain permits from the town prior to opening.
“We have struggled with (getting) property owners to connect with us when they have new tenants move into a building to make sure the new use of the premises is permitted per our bylaw. Generally speaking, permits are not required when the tenancy of the premises doesn’t change - for example retail to retail; office to office,” says Gentleman.
“Saying that, we do like to know when a new business has located in town so we can welcome them and list them in our business directory.”