Matthew O’Donnell

Matthew O’Donnell

Pot dispensary operators call for regulation

NANAIMO – Marijuana dispensary operators oppose competitor opening next to daycare and call for municipal licensing and regulation.

Nanaimo marijuana dispensary operators have voiced their opposition to a competitor’s attempt to open next to a daycare centre and are calling upon government to establish regulations and licensing of marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Police raided the Leaf Labs Medical Cannabis Services dispensary at 679 Terminal Ave and arrested one man Feb. 13, three days after it opened next door to the Kidz Kompany daycare centre.

“We’ve been trying to reach out to this dispensary owner for quite some time to, basically, let them know that you’re rocking the boat here in Nanimo,” said Matthew O’Donnell, community liaison for Mid Island Health and Wellness Association. “We’re trying really hard to have regulations come to Nanaimo, just like they have in Victoria, Vancouver and Port Alberni.

“Opening up next door to a daycare centre, it’s just not the right thing to do. It doesn’t help the community and it doesn’t help the cannabis community, either.”

A group of marijuana dispensary owners penned a letter, which called upon the city, in light of the Leaf Labs incident, to take action on regulating and licensing dispensaries ahead of federal government decisions on cannabis legalization.

Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay planned to introduce a motion to have city staff draft a dispensary regulations bylaw at a council meeting in December, but council ran out of time dealing with other items on the agenda.