Prince of Pot Marc Emery vows to defend his headquarters
Vancouver’s so-called Prince of Pot is vowing that he won’t be smoked out of his downtown stronghold.
Marc Emery, leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party, will know after a hearing tonight (April 9) if city hall will issue licences or shut down his businesses on West Hastings Street.
"We’re still going to litigate to stay there," Emery told the Straight. "We’re not leaving."
A three-storey building at 307 West Hastings Street houses the world-famous Cannabis Culture Headquarters, a retail store selling pipes and bongs, shirts, books, and assorted items, as well as the offices of Cannabis Culture magazine and Pot TV. Across the street is a convenience store Emery opened last year.
"The previous three mayors—Philip Owen, Larry Campbell, and Sam Sullivan—have made arrangements”¦that we didn’t need a business licence because we were doing good things, and it was complicated for them to try and license us, so they just said we didn’t require one as long as we behave and maintain good order," Emery recalled.
Emery suggested that the police are behind attempts to get rid of him.
"Hastings Street is the corridor for the Olympics, and so all the VIPs and all the athletes would go by our store, and they don’t want them to go by our store with all its signs on it that say ”˜Legalize marijuana’ and all that sort of stuff," he said.
Vision Vancouver councillor Kerry Jang said he couldn’t comment on Emery’s suggestion that police are exerting pressure on city hall.
But Jang explained to the Straight that the council panel in charge of the business-licence hearing has to answer three questions in order to make a decision. First, is a business working within the law? Second, is it having an undue negative impact on the neighbourhood? Lastly, is the business costing the city money in terms of policing?