Executive Director of the CGC Ian Dawkins said the closure of 90 per cent of the city’s dispensaries is a dramatic overreaction, especially while the courts are still dealing with the future of medical cannabis in Canada.
“Vancouver is sticking it’s nose in an area they have no business in, particularly when they threaten to close well-run, safe, ethical dispensaries,” said Dawkins.
The CGC has started an online campaign, gathering opposition to dispensary closures in the city.<
City councillor Kerry Jang said that he expects the number of medical cannabis dispensaries in Vancouver to decrease from over 150, to 10 – 15,statements Dawkins called troubling to the medical cannabis community.
“It appears to have been decided by Vision Vancouver without adequate consultation with medical cannabis patients or their providers,” Dawkins said. “Vancouver needs to sit down with the cannabis business community and actually dialogue with us, rather than trying to dictate terms. How many taxpayer dollars do they want to waste on lawsuits and judicial reviews before thy begin to learn?”
Jang has said that with the city’s new rules for dispensaries, police, inspection staff, fines and court injunctions can now all be used to shut down dispensaries.
“On Apr. 29, we’ll start to apply those,” Jang said. “Hopefully, we’ll bring the pot shops under control.”
The petition states that a reduction in dispensaries of the magnitude stated by Jang would be a massive blow to medical patients and a departure from the Vision Vancouver party’s policy of regulating dispensaries to ensure safety and community standards.
“The reality is that we are losing dispensaries run by trained individuals who care deeply about their legitimate medical patients,” Dawkins said. “Is that honestly what City Council intended when they began their public consultations last year? Because from our perspective it absolutely is not.”