Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 2015
Source: Metro (Edmonton, CN AB)
Copyright: 2015 Metro Canada
Author: Ryan Tumilty
Page: 3


Legalization of Dispensaries Is a Model for Other Cities

An Edmonton man is eyeing new municipal rules for medicinal marijuana 
in Vancouver as he feels they could eventually spread to Edmonton and 
help him open a dispensary without breaking laws.

Earlier this month, Vancouver city council passed regulations and 
zoning restrictions for medical marijuana dispensaries, the first in 
a major Canadian city. Many pot advocates feel Vancouver's rules are 
the first step toward further legalization for medical marijuana, and 
could spread across Canada, despite the ongoing resistance by the 
federal government.

The man, who asked his name not be used, is the president of 
Edmonton's Mobile Access Compassionate Resources Organization Society 
(MACROS), and said the group is now a member of the Canadian 
Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD), which has 
advocated for Vancouver's changes.

"The Vancouver model is a stepping stone in my opinion," he said. "I 
was very happy there will be some sort of regulations that we can 
follow so that law enforcement doesn't have to come here."

He said MACROS joined the dispensary association because eventually, 
when laws allow, they would like to open a dispensary in Edmonton.

The director of CAMCD, Dana Larsen, said his organization provided 
some suggestions for the Vancouver model and he believes it will 
spread across the country.

Larsen said he knows the federal government will push back against 
marijuana dispensaries, but he hopes for a change in government this fall.

He said even if the Conservatives are re-elected dispensaries will 
come. "If we see a change in government it will happen all the 
faster," he said.

He said the association formed to bring standards to the industry and 
make sure it is regulated, safe and doesn't sell to children.

"That's really how you become a member - you confirm and you prove 
that you are following these guidelines."

City spokesperson Shani Gwin said they have received one application 
for a licensed grower, but no applications for dispensaries. She said 
they have no plans to bring in zoning rules for marijuana 
dispensaries, because they aren't permitted under federal law.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom