Pubdate: Fri, 27 Feb 2015
Source: Tri-Cities Now, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 Glacier Community Media
Note: Was Coquitlam Now until Jan 2014
Author: Jeremy Deutsch


In the next few weeks, the group hoping to open the first medical 
marijuana dispensary in Port Moody will learn the fate of its plan.

Representatives of CannaLifeMD were in front of council Tuesday 
formally requesting a bylaw amendment that would allow them to open 
what they call a "medical wellness centre" at 3131 St. Johns St.

The company originally appeared in front of council last fall, but 
didn't make a specific request at that time.

Council asked staff to come back with recommendations for an upcoming 
meeting on how to proceed with the issue.

Under Health Canada laws governing the production and use of medical 
marijuana, storefront and retail sales of the drug are prohibited, 
though use of the drug for treatment is not.

That has led to a legal grey area that has left cities like Port 
Moody dealing with requests from businesses to open up dispensaries.

Mayor Mike Clay said the formal request was needed for the city to 
finally address the issue and make a decision.

However, he's not convinced the city can give the business a green light.

"Fundamentally, I support what they're doing. I don't know that we 
can support them as a city," Clay said.

Though the mayor agrees with what CannaLifeMD plans to do as a 
business, he said he doesn't agree the city can ignore or break the law.

There also seems to be a difference of opinion between the business 
and the mayor when it comes to the police response to the dispensary. 
The company indicated the Port Moody police chief would only have 
concerns about the business if council told the department to shut it 
down, but that he wouldn't take it upon himself to do so.

However, Clay, who chairs the police board, said the response by the 
chief is that selling drugs is trafficking a prohibited substance and 
that's against the law.

In its presentation to council last fall, CannaLifeMD said it 
intended to open an upscale, clinic-type business targeting aging 
baby boomers in need of medical cannabis. The clinic also plans to 
provide educational resources, a nurse practitioner or doctor on 
staff, and products like edibles, creams and lotions.

Meanwhile, PoCo's smart growth committee has recommended that an 
application to operate a medical marijuana production facility in 
that city be forwarded for a discussion at the next council meeting in March.

As first reported in the Tri-Cities NOW, Remedi Pharmaceuticals and 
Iotron Industries are proposing to develop a medical marijuana 
production facility at Iotron's industrial building at 1425 Kebet Way.

The pharmaceutical company wants to convert a portion of the two-acre 
warehouse into a self-contained medical marijuana production facility 
that would produce 7,800 kilograms of medical pot each year.

Currently, medical marijuana production facilities are legal but 
operators are required to obtain a licence from Health Canada.
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