Vancouver has become the first city in Canada to regulate illegal marijuana dispensaries, a move that has “deeply disappointed” the federal government but was declared a common-sense approach by the mayor.
City council approved the regulations with new amendments Wednesday, to deal with the proliferation of dispensaries across Vancouver — with councillors guessing there are now around 100.
While the city maintained the regulation that dispensaries have to maintain a minimum of 300 metres away from community centres, schools and neighbourhood houses, and keep a distance from each other — it did make some allowances.
For instance, dispensaries not wanting to pay the annual $30,000 licensing fee can become a compassion club society — or non-profit — to pay a $1,000 business licence fee instead. And while not allowing edibles, stores may sell tinctures, oil and capsules.
All the councillors called on the federal government to legalize and tax marijuana.
But NPA Coun. George Affleck said he expects the city regulations to cause a myriad of legal challenges and will cost the city millions of dollars in the future.
Dana Larsen, director of Sensible BC, said he had “mixed feelings” about the vote.
“I’m glad the process is moving forward, and I like some of the things they’re doing,” he said. “On the other hand, I’ve got a dispensary on East Hastings open for seven years … and now we have to shut down.”
Larsen, who runs the Vancouver Dispensary Society, has to relocate because it’s near a community centre and many stores in his situation will have a hard time finding new spots meeting the city’s demands.
Larsen said he didn’t know if he had legal options, and noted that the B.C. Compassion Club Society — one of the oldest, non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver — would also have to move because it’s across the street from a school.
In a previous interview, Isaac Oommen, society spokesman, said he hoped the city would grandfather them in as they have a good relationship with the school and want to continue to serve the community around them, but it didn’t happen.
Shortly after Vancouver approved the regulations, Health Minister Rona Ambrose — who had sent letters to each councillor appealing for them to stop — sent out a statement expressing how “deeply disappointed” she was with the city.
The Conservative MP also took the opportunity to slight Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau.
“These stores have absolutely no regard for the rule of law and have been caught selling marijuana to kids — they represent Justin Trudeau’s vision for Canadian neighbourhoods from coast to coast to coast,” she states.
“Storefronts selling marijuana are illegal and under this Conservative Government will remain illegal.”
Ambrose said she expects the police to enforce the law, and reiterated that point when asked if the government would be taking any action against the city.
Kids smoking weed is much better than kids inhaling gasoline or jenkem. Stop ruining our lives for following our own cultural beliefs, or make it illegal to sell liquor and tobacco. Perhaps it should be illegal to make your kids go to church, it is a greater violation of their rights than allowing them to smoke pot. Think before you act you ignorant sheep.
Politicians who continue to demonize Medical Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.
The People have spoken! Get on-board with Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.
There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of citizens want our politicians to provide us safe, legal access to Medical Marijuana Nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.
The prohibitionist view on medical marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority of citizens. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.
Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.
Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The majority of Americans have seen through the sham of medical marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.
With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a medical marijuana prohibitionist to do?
Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!
Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Medical Marijuana Legalization Efforts!