With the deadline from RCMP to shut down their businesses now over, the Nanaimo dispensary community was invited for a private meeting with mayor Bill McKay.
Matthew O’Donnell of the Nanaimo Dispensary Coalition said the meeting was productive and he was surprised by how positive the dialogue with McKay was, despite the mayor reiterating the fact that the city has no power over RCMP decisions.
“It’s not like we were asking for them to come in and force [the RCMP] to change, because we know that they can’t do that,” said O’Donnell. “We’re trying to look past that, and on to regulation issues to assist with regulation and zoning for dispensaries.”
O’Donnell said the meeting built upon the presentation the group made at city council this past Monday, and the coalition is now invited to a committee-of-the-whole meeting next week where they will make a detailed presentation on the steps toward regulation in Nanaimo.
“Legalization’s coming no matter what, so we might as well be proactive on it and make sure we’re on the same page,” said O’Donnell.
Despite the support the group has received from politicians, O’Donnell said the threat from RCMP is still a real one.
“The threat of a bust and the threat of getting arrested are still very, very, very high,” said O’Donnell. “As long as we’re keeping that dialogue open we’re staying very optimistic, but at the same time we’re also being realistic about this and the threat of arrest is still there ”
The police have remained tight lipped on their plans to carry through with actions against dispensaries, but O’Donnell said they could come at any time now and the businesses still need support.
“We’re asking within the community, from all over the country, to please support us,” said O’Donnell. “Please write or email the Justice Minister of Canada or the Pubic Safety Minister and ask them, ‘what’s going on’ and ‘who ordered this’ and ‘why doesn’t it go within the liberal government’s mandate for legalized cannabis?’”