The City of Victoria announced Thursday it has begun investigating regulations around medical cannabis-related businesses.

The City sent the announcement to businesses operating in Victoria, saying the purpose of the review was “to mitigate any community impacts, while maintaining access to medical [cannabis] for residents.”

Victoria currently classifies cannabis-related businesses as those that sell cannabis paraphernalia, those that provide medical advice relating to cannabis, and those that sell marijuana. The City noted that none of the 20 medical cannabis dispensaries they have knowledge of currently serving operating in Victoria have a licence from Health Canada.

In addition to concerns with inadequate security measures at many of the businesses, public and private feedback have prompted the review, with the City and the Victoria Police Department receiving complaints regarding:

  • Increased foot traffic surrounding businesses
  • Odour
  • Food safety
  • Nuisance to nearby businesses
  • Exposure of youth to the sale of marijuana
  • Infiltration of organized crime
  • Sales to persons without medical need

In June, after Vancouver became the first Canadian city to regulate the marijuana industry, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps told CTV her city would look to Vancouver’s legislation as a framework.

“I appreciate the leadership Vancouver’s taken so we can follow their lead instead of having to make it all up ourselves,” Helps said. “I think our staff’s job just got a lot easier.”

The City of Victoria has released a short survey for public opinion, feedback will be gathered until September 18th and used to create draft regulation to be shared at a town hall meeting later in the fall.