Locals support Canadian city’s dispensary regulations

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A decision by officials in Vancouver, British Columbia, to craft rules regulating dispensaries has garnered overwhelming support in the province, which could make the city a model for other municipalities in Canada.

Some 67% of British Columbians agree with the city council’s move to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, according to a recent poll by Insights West, even though such businesses are banned federally.

Given the overwhelming support, an official with the polling company said the city’s handling of dispensaries could become a case study for other areas in Canada, the Vancouver Sun reported.

The rules set a 300-meter (984-foot) buffer zone between dispensaries and schools, community centers and other cannabis businesses, and require owners to pay $30,000 for a license. The regulations also ban sales of edibles but allow patients to purchase oils to make their own.

The Supreme Court of Canada in June struck down a provision in the country’s medical marijuana law that restricted cannabis production, possession and consumption to dried flower, paving the way for sales of edibles and concentrates.

Dispensaries are technically illegal under federal law. Patients must order cannabis from licensed companies, which then mail MMJ to their homes.

Vancouver’s decision to make rules effectively legitimizing the 100-or-so dispensaries has angered officials in Ottawa. Local police officials, however, have said they won’t dedicate resources to shutting down dispensaries because it’s not a high priority.

Victoria, the second-biggest city in British Columbia, is already following Vancouver’s lead and drafting bylaws regulating dispensaries.