Licensed Producer Takes Issue with Saskatoon Dispensaries

Saskatchewan’s only licensed medical cannabis producer, CanniMed, is taking issue with a compassion club in Saskatoon.

CanniMed president Brent Zettl spoke to the Saskatoon planning and development committee to “straighten out some facts” given in a previous presentation to town council from Saskatchewan Compassion Club founder Mark Hauk.

Hauk claimed patients in the city were unable to acquire marijuana through regulated channels due to accessibility and affordability issues with the licensed producer and that compassion clubs like his “fill the gaps of a dysfunctional federal program.”

Zettl said access to medical cannabis is not a problem and patients can expect delivery in 48 hours. He defended the requirements Health Canada places on the licensed producer are about “quality control.”

Zettl took issue with compassion clubs operating in the city, saying he sees their role not in dispensing cannabis but dispensing information on its use.

“Cannabis clubs or dispensaries do not sell medical cannabis,” Zettl said. “Quite simply, these storefront operations should be seen as drug traffickers and held to charge in every instance.”

According to Zettl, if compassion clubs are able to dispense cannabis they should “follow the same checks and balances we have to follow.”

The city of Saskatoon has said they will provide a business license to Hauk’s compassion club, but he needs to ensure he’s operating within the law.