Pubdate: Wed, 05 May 2010
Source: Maple Ridge News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Maple Ridge News


Just the seventh medical marijuana dispensary in B.C. opened Monday in
Maple Ridge.

The legality of the operation is in question, though, as is its
location - in a renovated rancher at the south end of 224th Street, in
the downtrodden downtown.

Opponents don't like the location, or that no one in the community was
consulted about opening the service prior to an open house Monday.

Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin is "PO'd." He doesn't want the
dispensary in Maple Ridge.

Even Michelle Rainey, a Maple Ridge resident and vice-president of the
B.C. Marijuana Party, questions the location and lack of consultation,
as well wonders who supplies the dispensary with marijuana and whether
its operators will take advantage of people who have licences to grow
medical marijuana.

The Taggs Medical Cannabis Dispensary is operated by the newly-formed
non-profit Always Growing Green Society. It plans to sell various
strains of marijuana, as well as other cannabis products, such as
baked goods and other edibles, extracts, oils, concentrates, capsules,
and sprays.

All members of the dispensary must have documentation from Health
Canada or a registered physician to use its services.

However, cannabis compassion clubs like Taggs are not legal in Canada
and are not part of the federal medical marijuana program. The only
way to possess or cultivate marijuana legally for medical purposes is
with a licence from Health Canada.

Taggs does not have a Health Canada permit; few do.

Also, the society has not obtained a business licence from the
District of Maple Ridge, because the operation is not for profit. Nor
were RCMP consulted about the new service.

No one is disputing the medicinal benefits of marijuana, or the
service of providing safe access to it.

However, the operators have gone about opening the dispensary in a
shady way, just showing up unannounced. Now people are upset. To not
expect that is naive.

It shouldn't come as a surprise then when RCMP shut it down.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake