Pubdate: Fri, 18 Mar 2016
Source: Coast Reporter (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Coast Reporter


Downtown Sechelt now has three stores selling medical marijuana, 
virtually within a stone's throw of each other. One of the outlets, 
Weeds Glass and Gifts, has been supplying its clients with cannabis 
for 11 months, store manager Robin Kehler disclosed this week. 
Forgive us for being confused.

When Weeds was poised to open on Wharf Avenue in February of last 
year, the Sunshine Coast RCMP's position was unequivocal. "This isn't 
something we would stand by and allow to happen in our community," 
detachment spokesman Const. Harrison Mohr said at the time.

"There's no provision in Canadian law for a marijuana dispensary to 
operate, and we'll certainly be taking enforcement action on this if 
they do open. It's the RCMP's stance that dispensaries are illegal."

Yet, one month later, the Weeds store was doing exactly what the RCMP 
said it wouldn't be allowed to do - dispensing medical marijuana to 
eligible clients - and it has been quietly doing so ever since.

When asked about this apparent change in approach, Mohr maintained 
that the detachment takes a "zero-tolerance approach to dispensaries" 
and "will continue to monitor the local dispensaries and prioritize 
enforcement action as appropriate."

The raid last November on a home-based dispensary in Selma Park 
offers a clue as to what "appropriate" means in this context. S&M 
Sweet Shoppe owners Doug and Michelle Sikora have been charged with 
trafficking after selling medical marijuana edibles - candies and 
teabags - on multiple occasions to an undercover officer who did not 
provide a doctor's note.

So, while it's not technically legal for dispensaries to sell 
cannabis products to anyone, police appear to be drawing a 
distinction and clamping down only when sales are to people who don't 
have the legitimacy of a doctor's note. At least that's what it looks 
like, although the RCMP are not explicitly saying so.

Meanwhile, based on demand, Kehler says there is "absolutely no need 
for three dispensaries" in Sechelt, which suggests that businesses 
are setting up in the hopes of eventually capturing the larger 
recreational market when Ottawa gets around to legalizing pot, 
perhaps next year.

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's hands-on experience with the 
herb, we have high hopes that the federal government will make sense of it all.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom