The response from local governments regarding cannabis dispensaries has been a mixed bag. In the case of Aldergrove, the response has been to shut down attempted dispensaries as quick as possible.

The Matocan Compassion Society opened it’s doors in Aldergrove on February 1st and only a few days later they received a letter from the solicitors for the Township of Langley, telling them cease and desist their operations.

Dave Smith is one of five directors for Matocan, and he says that they “are trying to follow the regulations and rules.” When he has made attempts to talk to Township council members, Smith says that”no one will talk to us, they all refer us to the lawyers (Bull & Hauser).” He also requested to bring a delegation to the council’s next public meeting, but he never heard a response for this request.

“We’re not into the recreational side of cannabis, we’re strictly the medicinal side. More people are choosing this route, for pain relief, for rheumatoid arthritis, and so on. We don’t sell anything to just anyone, they must have a doctor’s referral, everything is lab tested, and we monitor how much people are purchasing. We are helping people, not hurting them,” according to Smith.

In nearby Abbotsford, the city is currently trying to shut down it’s third dispensary, owned and operated by cannabis magnate Don Briere, but he vows to fight these efforts and remain open regardless.