Pot buyers club backs regulation

The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club is throwing its support behind the City of Victoria's efforts to regulate marijuana shops.

The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club is throwing its support behind the City of Victoria’s efforts to regulate the increasing amount of marijuana shops in town.

“We’re very supportive of the direction the city is taking. This is something that the oldest of dispensaries have been asking for, for more than 20 years, some form of regulation,” said Dieter Macpherson, advisor to the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries and executive director of the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club.

During a meeting last week, city council voted in favour of moving towards a regulatory approach to marijuana-related dispensaries.

Council has directed staff to draft new business and zoning bylaws that would regulate businesses that sell marijuana. Amendments could include imposing annual $30,000 business licence fees specific to the type of business, regulations regarding signs and merchandise in storefront windows, record keeping, limits on hours of operation and regulation to minors on the premises.

According to Macpherson, the proposed regulations shouldn’t have an effect on club patients.

“We have to see how the regulations end up looking. We expect that we will participate in any public discussion of forum, so that we can ensure we’re still able to serve the people that we do,” said he, adding that the proposed $30,000 business licensing fees are issues he thinks council can be moved on.

“There’s no reason that dispensaries shouldn’t be treated like any other business, especially when it comes to community impact,” said Macpherson.

The motion comes in response to a staff report brought to council stating the number of unlicensed medical marihuana dispensaries has increased significantly in the past year. According to the report, there are 18 medical marijuana-related shops, of which only seven are operating with a license.

The businesses have also generated a number of complaints from nearby businesses, regarding increased foot traffic, odour and exposure of youth to the sale of marijuana.

Coun. Ben Isitt, who put forward the motion at council, said he hopes the regulations will not have an effect on long-standing establishments such as the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, but will provide a framework for regulation of the substance.

“I expect, what a regulatory system will do is provide a pathway to compliance, rather than treating these establishments as outlawed establishments,” said Isitt. “I hope it has a minimal affect on long-standing establishments like the Cannabis Buyers Club. I think they have a proven track record of operating responsible in the community and providing a source of medicine to people experiencing pain.”

Isitt said the report by staff will be “substantial” in size and that it is a priority of city council’s.

Mayor Lisa Helps said a town hall meeting is expected to be scheduled with community stakeholders as well.

 

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

Just Posted

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read