The City of Kimberley voted unanimously to grant two new cannabis business licences to medical cannabis operations in town at a Council meeting, Sept. 14.
Kimberley councillor Nigel Kitto spoke with Cannabis in Canada about the decision and next steps.
“We have only briefly touched on the supply issue facing the current and proposed dispensaries,” said Kitto. “The business owners will likely use licensed producers; the council does not control where any business sources their product for sale.”
Council voted down a proposal to also manufacture cannabis in the town.
Kitto hoped members of the community would be able to source the product they need, with hight quality.
“Consumers must have confidence that the medicine they are receiving can be consistently relied upon,” said Kitto “I’m still not sure whether this precludes backyard growers and informal arrangements, but also see little benefit of setting up another form of big pharma that only benefits big companies and their shareholders.”
The Kimberley businesses are both licensed to dispense medical cannabis to those with a prescription. The vote brought the number of dispensaries in the city to three, with the two new operations, Earth’s Own Naturals and DB Kimberley Botanicals, joining the current dispensary, Tamarack.
Kitto said he wished the new Kimberley business owners well on developing the industry in his city and hoped they are able to navigate the current legal situation around cannabis, “where law is sadly lagging behind community need and will.”
“I have cared for many people who have undoubtedly benefited from medical marijuana,” said Kitto. “The prohibition of marijuana is ridiculous and totally hypocritical when one considers the harm associated with alcohol and tobacco.”
Kitto said he envisioned a future with complete legalization of cannabis.
“We can let the market decide whether to support commercial operations, or the local farmer in your community,” Kitto suggested. “All should have some sort of licence and pay tax. Individuals of course should also be able to cultivate for their own use tax exempt, just like I can brew my own beer or make my own wine.”
The Kimberley councillor said he’s looking toward the upcoming federal election to bring positive change around cannabis to the country.
“We need to examine the positive experiences from Colorado, Washington State and internationally where prohibition has been lifted to the benefit of their communities and replicate it as soon as possible.”
Before entering office, Kitto immigrated from Australia in 2006 and has worked as a registered nurse with extensive experience in emergency nursing.