Under Mayor Gregor Robertson’s administration the number of illegal pot dispensaries has increased rapidly in the past two years. To deal with the issue there has been a proposal to regulate these dispensaries, which puts Vancouver on the map for being the first city regulate and control pot dispensaries.
Previously Medicinal Cannabis had been issued by mail after patient provided a prescription and legitimate license. This lengthy process was all under the federal jurisdiction; but now with these dispensaries, patients are able to purchase medicinal cannabis over the counter with a valid prescription.
This phenomenon begs the question that there is an adequate amount of people that think medicinal cannabis may be the solution their illnesses.
The Vision Vancouver committee, the majority who represents permissively that marijuana should be regulated says that the proposed framework will take months to implement but have confidence in saying that Vancouver will become the first city on Canada where cannabis will be regulated and permitted to be sold.
The city has seen the opening of about 20 new shops over the past couple of months because the federal government has changed they medicinal cannabis users can buy their medicine.
There are many benefits to these regulatory practices because Cannabis is in fact is essential for some patients to alleviate them from chronic pain. Whereas many others ask the question that does regulating these businesses mean that Vancouver is legalizing Marijuana? But City Councilor Kerry Jang just says “We’re not getting into that argument. We are simply regulating an unregulated business, just as we would any other business.”
However for owners this endeavor will not prove to be cheap because they city intends to charge for business licenses that can cost up to $5000 a year per square footage, and $30, 000 administration fee. Each shop will also have to reapply annually under the city’s official development plan bylaws as a conditional use. Also the businesses cannot be opened by companies and has to be individuals and their employees, who have to go through criminal record checks annually.
Although there may be a flame of hope in order for this medication to be more accessible to the ones that need it, Councilor Jang hopes that these conditions will knock at least 25% of these businesses out of the water.
Although this may prove to be quite expensive for owners and despite the city’s rigid conditions there are many patients who are relieved that they can find easy access to their medication. Comparatively in the past when the federal government had regulated these dispensaries, it imposed a rigid and lengthy process before a patient could have access to their medication.
Due to this fact the leader of the Federal liberal party promises a plan which would make cannabis even more permissible but due to the politics of the whole phenomenon Stephen Harper’s government does not intend to accompany Vancouver’s journey in regulating these businesses.