Another Canadian City Begins Crafting Dispensary Laws

Lawmakers in Victoria, British Columbia, are drafting their own bylaws to regulate the city’s medical cannabis dispensaries even though the Canadian government has banned such operations.

Victoria’s city council approved a bill asking staff to draft licensing and zoning regulations for dispensaries, following a similar move to regulate medical marijuana stores in Vancouver.

Under new regulations passed by Canadian officials two years ago, licensed cultivators must mail cannabis to MMJ patients or their healthcare providers, and storefront dispensaries are not allowed.

But scores of dispensaries that existed before the new regulations went into effect remain in business in some cities, and new ones have even launched recently. More than 80 dispensaries have opened in Vancouver in the past two years alone, for example.

Victoria police officials told The Canadian Press that law enforcement doesn’t “have time and energy to be running around busting 18-year-olds selling marijuana across the counter.”

Canada’s health minister has come out against Vancouver’s plans to regulate dispensaries, saying police should enforce federal laws.

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