The passion Crystal (River) Johnson once had for her cannabis dispensary at her Splatsin property near Enderby is gone.
Passion has been replaced by frustration and sadness as the owner-operator of High Status Cannabis announced that an over-saturation of dispensaries on band land and a lack of leadership from band council has led to her decision to close the shop’s doors at the end of February.
“We are and have been in a state of white knuckling it for some time now,” wrote Johnson on the shop’s Facebook page. “We can no longer keep our doors open here, and we will be no longer able to employ Splatsin people here.”
High Status Cannabis was the first dispensary to open on Splatsin land in August 2019. Johnson’s shop, and one other, she said, are the only two out of an approximate dozen dispensaries on band land fully owned, operated and employing Splatsin community and band members.
Johnson used her own capital and own connections to begin her business. The majority of dispensaries are owned by non-Indigenous people who partner up to open a dispensary on band land, as there are no bylaws in place regulating such matters.
Johnson said she is