‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of legendary Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

The RCMP say they “stand corrected” and Cranbrook business Jimmy’s Cannabis will not have to remove an image of legendary lawman Sam Steele displayed in one of their windows after all, after the RCMP consulted further with their historian, who informed them he is not wearing an RCMP uniform in the image.

BACKGROUND: RCMP asks new cannabis shop to remove image of Sam Steele

It’s been a high-profile week for Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop considering the store just opened its doors last Wednesday, with news that the store had been asked by the RCMP to take the photo of Sam Steele down due to copyright infringement making headlines nation wide.

Cannabis stores are mandated to have opaque window coverings to prevent onlookers from seeing in and owner Jeff Weaver opted to go with historical images for his stores instead of “uninviting” glazed glass or something along those lines.

Weaver originally agreed to take the photo down in the verbal conversation with a local officer, but after consulting a historian, he learned that the image of Steele he chose shows him wearing not a RCMP uniform but a military one.

“We are elated,” Weaver told the Townsman. “This is fantastic news that we are not impinging upon any trademark issues with the RCMP and we hope that Sam Steele the man will be the thing that’s celebrated from here on out.”

Today Cpl. Caroline Duval from RCMP media relations in Ottawa provided a statement confirming that Steele is in fact wearing a military uniform depicted on the window.

“The RCMP stands corrected on the statement that Sam Steele is wearing the uniform of the North West Mounted Police in the image used by the cannabis store. We had further discussions with our historian, who informed and corrected us on:

Superintendent Samuel Benfield Steele, Reg. No. 1 (O.40) was struck off the strength of the North-West Mounted Police on January 3, 1903.

The photograph of Sam Steele, from which the disputed image is derived, is from the portrait published in the frontispiece of Sam Steele’s autobiography “Forty Years in Canada” written in 1914 but due the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, was not published until 1915.”

The RCMP statement explains that in 1914, Colonel Steele was the Officer in Command of Military District 10 in Winnipeg, MB. In the photo Weaver picked for his store Steele is wearing the uniform of a full Colonel in the Canadian Militia.

In the statement Duval said that the RCMP wishes to remind the public that “notwithstanding the correction and honest mistake, the name and image of the RCMP are protected under the intellectual property laws of Canada and requires prior authorization before any business or enterprise can use it.

Meaning that if Steele was depicted in RCMP regalia in the photo, Weaver would have had to officially request permission to use it, and had the request been denied, he would have had to remove it.



paul.rodgers@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Mandatory alcohol screening

If you have to drive, don’t drink. If you drink, don’t drive.

Mary Lowther column: Time to plan the winter garden

Weeds have gotten away on me, I’ve just finished laying out my soaker hoses

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Sarah Simpson Column: Finding nature at home

It was time to call in reinforcements.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read