Pistol and Paris flies to rescue flood victims

Published on November 18, 2021 by David Wylie

Collage of images, including pilot Dylan King and flooding in the Fraser Valley Photo: Pistol and Paris/for the oz.
Images from the Pistol and Paris helicopter, as founder Dylan King flew to help people who were stranded this week by flooding and mudslides in BC.

Dylan King had a bird’s-eye view this week of the flooding devastation in the Fraser Valley.

The founder of cannabis brand Pistol and Paris is known, in part, for flying a helicopter. A commercial pilot, King normally commutes by air to visit the Pistol and Paris label growers, including JBuds in the Okanagan.

This week, King used his unique form of transportation to help people left stranded by flooding and mudslides. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he shuttled desperate people from Hope to the Lower Mainland, so they could get home from their traumatic ordeals.

King says the stories have stuck with him.

“There’s a lot of people in a lot of tough situations,” he says. “They were so desperate to get out of Hope. I didn’t charge one person anything. I wanted to give back.”

The scenes he saw were sad and upsetting.

“There’s so many places underwater, so much livestock dead. It just makes you realize how fortunate we are to be safe and dry,” he says, encouraging people to make even a small donation to the relief effort of their choice.

Cannabis store employees impacted

In Merritt, two cannabis store employees have had their homes severely damaged by flooding.

Jeff Thompson, who owns The Higher Path, says the store is located on higher ground, but is closed because the community is evacuated.

“Two of my staff, their homes are completely underwater,” he says.

Higher Path locations in Trail, Castlegar and Oliver were in danger of closing due to lack of product, as shipments were indefinitely delayed and customers began to stock up. Flower and pre-rolls were the first to sell out.

After some uncertainty, their order arrived Thursday morning—shipped through Calgary.

Thompson commended the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

“They are definitely on it,” he says.

The Higher Path location in Armstrong received its order by airmail Wednesday evening.

“We were really shocked. Honestly, we weren’t sure,” says Nicole Sullivan, a budtender at Higher Path location.

Still, some stores wait

Other stores say they are worriedly waiting on their weed.

The BC LDB sent a statement to the oz. Thursday afternoon about the delays:

“We have been and will continue to make considerable efforts to work with our vendors and third-party carriers to maintain regular service levels. As of November 18, BC Cannabis Wholesale has partnered with Purolator Express to deliver products (except cannabis beverages due to shipping restrictions) by air to regional airports for shipments to licensed cannabis retail stores in impacted cities across Interior and Northern British Columbia,” says the LDB.

“We will be posting updates on the BC Cannabis Wholesale and Retail websites for more information on impacted delivery schedules as the situation evolves.”

BC Cannabis Stores warning

Provincial pot dealer, BC Cannabis Stores, warned customers on its website of possible delivery delays and supply issues.

“Due to the extreme weather situation in parts of the province disrupting some transportation routes, BC Cannabis Stores would like to inform customers that there is a possibility of limited product assortment resulting from delayed deliveries from our suppliers,” says the BCCS.

“We have been and will continue to make considerable efforts to work with our suppliers and freight carriers to resume and maintain regular service levels.”

Potheads prepare

Foot traffic has been steady for days at one Vernon store.

Spiritleaf Vernon’s Sarah Ballantyne says regular customers have been coming in to buy two-weeks or so stock of their go-to weed.

“It’s crazy,” she says. “Cannabis consumers like to be prepared.”

Last updated Nov. 18 at 1:58 p.m.