COURTENAY, B.C- Bob Wells has picked up an endorsement from a controversial local business.

On Monday, Leaf Compassion owner Kyle Cheyne posted an endorsement of Bob Wells in Courtenay’s mayoral race to his personal Facebook page, which linked back to a website that carried the following message.

“Bob has been involved in Courtenay’s local governance for more than a decade, and recognized as one of BC’s Top 40 under 40 in business. With the necessary experience, infrastructure, and availability, we believe Bob is the best choice for mayor for our community in Courtney”

The Courtenay-based store-front had been raided twice by police after opening on 4th Street in 2017, and eventually was denied a business license by council last November.

Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula had attracted backlash after disagreeing with the company’s plan, and received a death threat after the shop was closed in October.

When informed of the endorsement, Wells indicated he hadn’t been aware.

He mentioned he had spoken with Cheyne after his store opened last year, and also said he had told him then that it wouldn’t have made sense to have city staff work on anything to do with the store when provincial regulations could undo whatever was put in place.

“People are allowed to say they like people or not,” said Wells.

“I don’t know Kyle, other than the way he had opened up his business. I know we gave him some fines, my recommendation when I spoke to him was that the approach he took was incorrect. To the best of my knowledge, at that point, he closed. He hasn’t actually been selling out of his store, so he basically complied with the city’s request for him to stop selling cannabis product until we have a full cannabis regulation bylaw and policy in place, and he had gone through the business application process.”

Wells said he hadn’t had any other interactions with Cheyne beyond that, and that the endorsement “came out of the blue”.

“As long as he is adhering to whatever the laws are in a community, and our province and our country, and he’s doing it faithfully, I don’t necessarily have a problem,” said Wells.

“To be clear, I was very outspoken at the time that the way he did was the wrong way to do it, as far as I know, he has not continued to sell any products out of his establishment on 4th Street.”

Wells also said he would never be able to smoke marijuana, due to an injury from his youth.

“If its legal, and people want to do it, I don’t really have a problem with it,” said Wells.

“I think it’s actually an opportunity for us to actually be able to grab those tax dollars, and put it to good use in our community, and keep that money out of organized crime.”