The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) would like to commend the City of Vancouver's licensing and planning divisions for a taking a progressive step forward in recommending the regulation of dispensaries. "We do have some concerns with the regulations, but we look forward to engaging in discussions with council and the citizens of Vancouver," said CAMCD President Jamie Shaw.
Chief among those concerns is the restriction on edibles. "While the restriction on edible products is a major issue for patients, we understand the city's difficult position while the Supreme Court is deliberating on this. We look forward to a decision in R v Smith to resolve this."
Other issues CAMCD has noted is the impact to some communities if certain long-standing dispensaries are forced to abandon them, "We have dispensaries that have been part of the fabric of their community for over a decade, in one case, almost two decades," said Shaw, "so that also will be an issue we address."
While much has been made in the media of dispensaries being a Vancouver-only problem, Shaw says the facts just don't bear that out. Some smaller cities have a greater number of dispensaries per capita than Vancouver has. Victoria for example has an estimated 25 dispensaries, and has announced they may soon be following Vancouver's lead. "We hope the federal government recognizes that these cities are doing what needed to be done a decade ago, and will not interfere unduly with the action these cities decide on," Shaw added.
CAMCD is a non-profit trade association for medical cannabis dispensaries founded in 2011. Their Dispensary Certification Program is a rigorous accreditation program developed in part with the support of the UBC SEED Project, and funded by a Peter Wall Solutions Initiative.