Dispensaries in western Canada could be shut under legalization

As Canada readies to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide, existing medical cannabis dispensaries in British Columbia might not meet future regulatory requirements and may be forced to shut.

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Morris told CBC News that most of the current cannabis dispensaries will have to conform to new requirements of the government’s distribution model and that he envisions “many of them shutting down.”

The Canadian federal government announced earlier this year that legislation to legalize marijuana will be introduced by spring 2017. It’s estimated that by 2021 Canada’s legal rec market could reach 3.8 million customers and $4.5 billion in sales.

Independent owners in Canada are concerned the legal market will mean small businesses are pushed out and corporate interests will take over.