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British Columbia court tosses suit over cannabis store enforcement on reserves

A group of licensed cannabis retailers in British Columbia lost their bid to be compensated for the province’s alleged failure to “adequately” enforce provincial licensing requirements on Indigenous reserves.

The group had sought 40 million Canadian dollars ($19.6 million) from the province for apparent loss of income.


The British Columbia Supreme Court judge wrote in the decision that “I am satisfied that it is plain and obvious that the claim does not disclose a reasonable cause of action in either negligence or negligent misrepresentation.”

The plaintiffs had said the province took significant enforcement actions against more than 70 unlicensed cannabis retailers.

“However, the decline in illicit cannabis stores and enforcement actions against such stores have taken place almost entirely on lands not designated as Indian Reserves, which illicit sales are the subject of the present action,” the group said in their notice of civil claim.

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