Councillors say to Wait Before Regulating Victoria Dispensaries

Two Victoria councillors want the city to delay the dispensary regulation process until the federal government makes its position on legalization clear.

City Council was due to hear a report from staff on how to regulate the city’s multiplying dispensaries, but, with the plan now delayed two weeks, councillors Marianne Alto and Chris Coleman suggested council instead ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for “clarification on whether and when the federal government intends to implement legalization and regulation of cannabis.”

The councillors believe Ottawa should create a task force from all three levels of government to design the framework for cannabis sales and distribution.

Alto and Coleman suggested council delay plans for its own framework until Trudeau responds as it would be “imprudent” for the city to create its own program before the federal government announces its own position.

“Until we understand what the federal landscape is going to be in guiding us, it makes sense to hold back,” Coleman said.

The pair of councillors said if Trudeau doesn’t respond to the city by Feb. 19 then Victoria should continue its own process for regulation of dispensaries.

Victoria has directed staff to craft a plan similar to Vancouver‘s regulations, which restrict cannabis businesses from operating within the vicinity of schools, community centres or other dispensaries.