Panelists included Village Dispensary co-founder and Women Grow’s Vancouver chairperson Andrea Dobbs, Cannawide Dispensaries community integration director Andrew Gordon, Eggs Canna CEO Oana Nicoara and author David Malmo-Levine from Stressed and Depressed.
Discussing regulation of the industry and product standards, Gordon said it’s important for dispensaries to begin creating rules for themselves before the government imposes its own.
“I can’t sit there and look at you as a patient and as a member with any sort of credibility or accountability or transparency and go ‘yeah, this is going to work for you,’ we don’t know,” Gordon said. “There is no clinical testing going on at the level it needs to to really provide the conviction and cogency we need to really get communities to come on board.”
Gordon said he welcomed the creation of some kind of framework for dispensaries to operate under, allowing him credibility to do his job.
Malmo-Levine said despite the LPs being required to test all of their products, none of that data is available to the public.
“We should not fear testing, we should embrace it and have it above the board, require all the result to be published and then we can really see if the LP weed is cleaner than the dispensary weed. I suspect it isn’t,” said Malmo-Levine.
Malmo-Levine said raiding dispensaries won’t create cleaner cannabis for consumers
“You just need to set up standards in Canada that growers have to meet to test for contaminants and ratios of medicinal components and, in order to sell pot, they’ll all get those tested,” he said.
Nicoara said if dispensaries create standards then they are responsible to their patients and also force cannabis growers to hold themselves to a higher standard.
“We as dispensaries are responsible for the product that we bring into our store,” she said. “If we do not accept product that is not being tested, if we don’t accept product that’s not properly labelled.
“I think that every dispensary owner has that responsibility to their patients and its very very important.”
Nicoara said testing is the number one thing that cannabis businesses need to all abide by to ensure that products reaching patients are being tested.
Dobbs agreed and said that, with many of her clients never having experienced cannabis before, she needs to be able to offer as much information as possible.
“I do, personally feel a great sense of responsibility to each of the people that I serve,” Dobbs said.