Pubdate: Wed, 15 Feb 2017
Source: Kelowna Capital News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017, West Partners Publishing Ltd.
Author: Alistair Waters


West Kelowna's new top cop says marijuana dispensaries are

At the request of West Kelowna city staff, West Kelowna's new RCMP
detachment commander has clarified the force's position related to
marijuana dispensaries.

At a meeting with council Friday, a statement from staff-sergeant
Lesli Roseberry was presented that indicated marijuana continues to be
regulated as a controlled substance under the federal Controlled Drugs
and Substances Act, which the RCMP has an obligation to enforce.

"The RCMP is responsible for enforcing Canadian laws, as they stand
today," said Roseberry in her statement. "Our communities expect that
we will take enforcement action to meet this responsibility, and do so
in an impartial and professional manner. There is no such thing as
having a tolerance for marijuana dispensaries. Simply put, these
dispensaries are illegal."

Roseberry indicated that there is no legal mechanism available in
Canada today which allows for a self-described "medical marijuana
dispensary" or "compassion club" to function.

It is illegal to sell marijuana to the public, regardless of whether
or not the purchasing individuals have licenses to possess marijuana
or whether or not the vendor has a license to produce marijuana.

While the RCMP supports efforts to ensure that those permitted by the
law have their required access to marijuana for medical purposes, the
current legislation does not provide blanket legality to produce, use,
or traffic marijuana.

"Owners or employees of a medical marijuana dispensary may be charged
with trafficking in a controlled substance should evidence exist to
support a charge," said Roseberry.

"We support local businesses whose operations are conducted within the
current scope of local, provincial and federal laws. Business
operators who choose to conduct their operations outside of these laws
may be investigated."

West Kelowna council will consider first reading of a proposed zoning
amendment bylaw to further regulate and provide clarity for commercial
medical marijuana facilities in West Kelowna at its meeting on
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. The draft bylaw and staff report is available
for review at .
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MAP posted-by: Matt