Pot dispensaries plan to defy order

New Nanaimo Cannabis Coalition reaches out to all levels of government for help in days leading up to a Nanaimo RCMP deadline.

Nanaimo medical marijuana dispensaries will remain open, despite the threat of police enforcement.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have reached out to government for clarity on potential new regulations and help in the lead-up to a deadline to stop selling marijuana. But dispensaries have no plans to close, according to the new Nanaimo Cannabis Coalition.

“Our coalition has stated we will remain open … because people need their medicine,” said Matthew O’Donnell, coalition spokesman.

Ten medical marijuana dispensaries were given notice last Thursday by the Nanaimo RCMP to stop selling marijuana and marijuana derivatives in seven days or they could face police enforcement, including the arrest of employees and patrons.

No further questions are being answered by the Nanaimo RCMP, but in an earlier e-mail spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien said action is related to an ongoing commitment to public safety and to notify dispensaries about the ramifications of non-compliance with the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Health Canada only licenses six B.C. producers, including Tilray, to sell to registered, medically prescribed patients.

Still, local pot retailers have been openly selling bud, tinctures and marijuana-infused edibles to Nanaimo customers, some for close to a year.

On Monday, O’Donnell appealed to Nanaimo city council to stand with “thousands” of medical marijuana users and to ask the RCMP for a cooling-off period while the new Liberal government decides how it will legalize marijuana. The coalition will also lab test products to medicinal standards and welcomes regulation, he said.

“How can our members, who suffer from cancer, chronic pain and serious illness, be treated as criminals today knowing that in the coming months any adult will be able to freely purchase and consume the same product?” O’Donnell asked.

The coalition has also reached out to the provincial and federal political representatives, including Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson. City council made no motion to help the coalition.

Malcolmson said she’s curious about the timing of police action, and has called for a briefing from the Nanaimo RCMP, as well as a conversation with Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

“If the law is about to change … this seems an unfortunate time to go ahead and enforce the Conservative government rules,” she said. “I am concerned this is alarming medical marijuana patients unnecessarily and it may be using public enforcement resources in an inefficient way.”


Just Posted

Young Nanaimo dancers to appear on NBC program ‘World of Dance’

Jacksun Fryer, 15, and Deeya Sharma, 12, among those competing for $1 million

Vancouver Island’s 10 worst intersections revealed

Saanich, Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan and Langford junctions make the list

Jeep bursts into flames on highway near Nanoose Bay

Emergency crews responded to blaze at approximately 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday

Finalists announced for Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards

Winners will be honoured at an awards gala Friday, Feb. 22 at the Coast Bastion Hotel

Nanaimo Clippers beat league’s best team on trip

Clippers get past the Chilliwack Chiefs 2-1 as BCHL regular season winding down

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Three Island First Nations chiefs take government to court in health care dispute

Move comes after First Nations Health Authority dumps Vancouver Island service provider

Okanagan ski resort officials displeased with Family Day roll-out

From one peak of the Okanagan to the other, resort officials have raised concerns

Island fossil makes it to the top of the provincial list

Courtenay’s elasmosaur will be added to the official Provincial Symbols of British Columbia

B.C. high school robotics team ranked first in the world for programming

The Surrey team was also named tournament finalists at VEX Robotics Competition on Feb. 1

Man shot dead in front of Kamloops hotel may be case of mistaken identity: RCMP

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

Vancouver Island boys high school basketball bragging rights on the line

Oak Bay, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Victoria host Island championships this weekend

New tutorial ‘Whales in our Waters’ launched by BC Ferries

A new tutorial has been launched for mariners and the general public about whales in the Salish Sea

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read