Unlicensed cannabis shop gutted by arson fire

Published on February 22, 2022 by oz. staff

Photo: Oliver Fire Department
The Pot Doctor north of Oliver engulfed in flames early Tuesday.

Video of someone setting fire to the inside of an unlicensed cannabis shop in the South Okanagan is being shared through social media.

The Pot Doctor, located on the Osoyoos Indian Band in the South Okanagan, was gutted earlier this week by fire.

Surveillance video posted by Amber Virag to a Penticton community Facebook group shows someone entering the store and quickly spreading fire throughout the inside.

The store owner is offering a $1,000 reward for information identifying the fire starter.

Police said earlier this week that arson was suspected in the fire early Tuesday.

Crews from the Oliver Fire Department responded to store at 8141 Highway 97, near the Senkulmen Enterprise Park, around 4:30 a.m. The business had been operating out of a converted steel shipping container and nearby trailer.

“First arriving officer on scene reported fire coming from a trailer and business at that location,” the department said in a press release.

“First arriving units knocked down exterior fire and proceeded to attack fire at the interior of the two structures. Quick action stopped the fire from spreading in the business while work was made to extinguish the trailer.”

The Pot Doctor, like a handful of other cannabis shops in the area, is located on Indigenous lands and isn’t licensed by the B.C. government.

Oliver RCMP Sgt. Don Wrigglesworth said Tuesday afternoon he had already discussed the incident with OIB chief and council and the matter remains under investigation as a suspected arson attack.

“There is video surveillance to review that will hopefully identify those responsible,” added Wrigglesworth in an email.

— with the Penticton Herald