Pubdate: Thu, 06 Dec 2012
Source: Vancouver 24hours (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Canoe Inc
Author: Michael Mui
Page: 3


Dave Douglas has hosted two sales since October, and police seem to be
okay with the way he handles it

High "medicine" costs to use marijuana from sanctioned Health Canada
growers and the black market has frustrated a local man enough to
start his own 420 Market in east Vancouver.

It's already been running once a month since October, pot activist
Dave Douglas told 24 hours this week. His federal medical marijuana
licence allows him to purchase a large amount daily - 20 grams - from
a sanctioned grower. It's too much for him to use alone, so he sells
it for about three-quarters of the black market price to licensees who
wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it.

"The prices have gotten very, very high. The compassion clubs, they're
at the mercy of the growers, so whatever the growers charge them they
have to add an operation cost for the patients," said the

"What we can do is give the low-income people the opportunity to get
the medicine they need."

Health Canada said it doesn't get involved in licensee financial
transactions. Douglas calls his market a "grey area," adding he's
already spoken to police about it.

Vancouver Const. Brian Montague said officers would likely leave the
party alone unless there are complaints. Douglas has promised that
only people who hold medical marijuana possession permits would be
allowed to buy. Someone will be checking IDs at the door.

"Our focus isn't on compassion clubs or medical marijuana," he said
Monday. "The sale of marijuana is illegal =C2=85 but obviously we have
discretion we can use with regards to how those laws are enforced."

Douglas, along with more than a dozen vendors - peddling items such as
seeds, growing and smoking equipment, food, books and more - will
operate the market between noon to 6 p.m. on Dec. 16 at a photography
studio near Dundas and Semlin.

Sensible BC founder Dana Larsen said there are more than a dozen
marijuana dispensaries already operating in Vancouver. He runs two of
them, but has never been raided by police.

"It's a very poorly designed system," he said of the sanctioned
permits. "(Transactions) are entirely between the patient and the
grower =C2=85 some growers charge a lot, some rip off their patients."

Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang is a supporter of legalizing and regulating
the weed, but he said council couldn't just grant business licences to
those like Douglas - drug laws are above civic governance.

"We can't actually do anything with our business licences until the
federal government says it's legal or illegal," he said.

"Right now, (the laws) are so open to interpretation and different
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