CANADA: Vancouver has entered unchartered territory as the first Canadian city to regulate marijuana dispensaries, with proponents arguing that regulation protects people’s health and restricts access.
The Chief Medical Health Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, Dr. Patricia Daly, who helped inform the decision to regulate, says that “city council may be seen as the Wild West, but they’re stepping in to reduce potential harms associated with the complaints they had from the community.”
Over the past few years, 100 marijuana dispensaries have popped up around Vancouver. Only 25 licensed producers, which deliver their product by mail, have been approved by Health Canada to sell medicinal marijuana from federally sanctioned growers. The remainder presumably obtain their cannabis from black market sources. These businesses were run without any city bylaws restricting how the illegal drug was sold.
“By regulating this, people under 19 won’t be allowed in these places, they won’t be selling edible products, and it’s actually going to improve the situation from what it is currently,” Daly says.