Anyone clever enough to name their shop “Dabber Hashery” should not be obliged by persnickety bureaucrats as to which words are acceptable usage within the realm of their legal business.
But alas, the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) told Jon Keefe, owner of the Dabber Hashery, that he can no longer use the word “cannabis” and that he was breaking the law in doing so.
"They told us we actually weren't allowed to speak the word 'cannabis' inside our shop or have the word 'cannabis' written down anywhere in our shop," said Keefe, stressing that the store actually does not sell cannabis.
Located in St. John’s, the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Dabber Hashery is a specialty cannabis supply shop that sells equipment and supplies for making and consuming cannabis concentrates and extracts as well as vaporizers, glassware, smoking supplies, etc.
In other words, the Dabber Hashery a head shop.
Keefe is looking for answers from the NLC after two employees came into the store on Oct. 23, 2018 (one week after legalization in Canada) and told him that he needed to "reread the legislation" on cannabis. Thankfully they left without issuing any penalties or confiscating any products.
The product that must not be named?
A tweet from Jon Keefe elucidates the problem:
The conflict comes down to a difference in interpretation of federal cannabis legislation, which states that a non-licensed establishment is free to sell accessories, but “usage of the term 'cannabis' is in conflict with the act.”
Keefe disputes the NLC's interpretation of the cannabis law.
"I've gone through the legislation top to bottom probably 10 times by now. I'm not a legal scholar but I am an educated man, and there's nothing in there that I can see that says there's any restrictions on folks selling things called 'cannabis accessories' or using the word 'cannabis,'" Keefe told CBC News.
The law in Canada also states that cannabis promotion is legal "at the point of sale" and in places where minors are not allowed. Keefe also stressed no one under 19 is allowed in the Dabber Hashery.
"I don't want to say that there's any malice behind this. I've seen no indication of that. We're just confused, basically," said Keefe.