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Controversial cannabis advocate Laurio running again to become Penticton mayor

A well-known cannabis advocate who has gotten into all sorts of trouble with police over the past several years relating to drug-related charges has filed his nomination papers to become mayor of Penticton.

Jukka Laurio, who ran for mayor in Penticton in the 2014 municipal election, is best known for his ongoing battles with police relating to cannabis sales.

In late May, Penticton RCMP said they recovered approximately 100 pounds of marijuana and marijuana edibles when they busted a dispensary in Okanagan Falls Wednesday. That dispensary was owned and operated by Laurio.

<who>Photo Credit: File Photo </who>Jukka Laurio, the controversial cannabis advocate who has had a longstanding battle with police over relating to operating cannabis dispensaries in Penticton and Okanagan Falls, has filed his nomination papers to become mayor of Penticton.

Officers located approximately 100 pounds of marijuana and marijuana edibles at the dispensary called Herbal Green Apothecary.

Laurio operated a controversial dispensary in Penticton until moving to Okanagan Falls in January.

The police investigation confirmed the dispensary was operating without a license to sell marijuana and that anyone from the general public could purchase the drug without any medical license.

“No store front is legally able to sell marijuana products to the general public,” said RCMP media relations officer Const. James Grandy “The marijuana seized from this dispensary was openly sold to anyone who walked into the store, regardless if they had a medical use license, or not.”

The seizure included a large quantity of various THC infused products, of particular concern was the edible products which were displayed, said Grandy.

<who>Photo Credit: File Photo </who>Jukka Laurio, who was given what was the largest fine in B.C. history in May for selling cannabis from his Penticton dispensary, has announced he is making another run to become mayor of Penticton. Laurio was arrested again in late May after closing his Penticton shop and moving to Okanagan Falls.

“Written on some of the packaging seized were the words, 'The Best High You’ve Ever Had'. This is clearly not marketed toward those in medical need to use,” said Grandy.

Laurio was previously engaged a longstanding battle against the City of Penticton for running a marijuana dispensary.

He agreed to pay a $15,000 fine in a Kelowna courthouse in early May after he and the City of Penticton reached a settlement agreement.

The city had obtained an injunction against Laurio doing business as Herbal Green Cafe for operating a marijuana dispensary within city limits.

<who>Photo Credit: Facebook Kelowna Courthouse </who>Jukka Laurio agreed in early May at the Kelowna Courthouse to pay $15,000 in fines to the City of Penticton relating to selling cannabis from a dispensary he owned in the city. Several weeks later, Laurio was arrested again after police raided a dispensary he had opened in Okanagan Falls. Laurio filed nomination papers Friday to run for mayor of Penticton.

Laurio agreed to pay a fine in the amount of $15,000 to the City of Penticton and the failure to do so would result in a doubling of the fine to $30,000.

The fine was believed to be the largest against a marijuana dispensary owner or operator in B.C. history.

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