Ottawa Blasts Vancouver’s Pot Shop Plans

CANADA:  The federal government drew battle lines with the City of Vancouver Thursday over the city’s plans to regulate marijuana dispensaries, saying they are dangerously close to legitimizing an illegal substance.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government said municipal governments have no authority to regulate and license businesses that sell pot.

“I am deeply concerned by reports that the City of Vancouver intends to discuss a proposal to regulate illegal drug dispensaries at an upcoming council meeting,” Health Minister Rona Ambrose told Mayor Gregor Robertson in a letter.

Vancouver’s growing sector of dispensaries goes beyond the federal government’s 2013 regulations on the sale of pot for medical purposes, Ambrose said. She dismissed City Manager Penny Ballem’s argument that the city is not seeking to regulate the drug itself and that federal rules have created a “grey zone” leading to an explosion of pot dispensaries.


Medical Marijuana Business Aims To Help Would-Be Patients Get Their Pot

CANADA:  A new business that’s coming to Ottawa this spring is offering to help people get access to medical marijuana.

But National Access Cannabis’s arrival in the capital — part of an expansion across the country — isn’t being welcomed by at least one future neighbour in Hintonburg, who says he’s worried that what’s being billed as an “education centre” could turn into a dispensary.

National Access Cannabis confirmed Wednesday it will be expanding its business model across the country. It opened its first location in Victoria last month and plans to set up shop in Vancouver, Halifax and Ottawa, starting with a Hintonburg location at 1111 Wellington St. W. — the current location of Heaven’s to Betsy shop — in the spring. Spokesman Colin Trethewey says the company is also looking at a second location, possibly on Bank Street.

The system of licensed marijuana producers, of which there are 25 across the country, came into effect last April. Canadians must get a medical document from a physician to order medical marijuana through a producer.


New Medical Marijuana Rule About To Face Lawsuit

CANADA: Longtime Fraser Valley marijuana crusader John Conroy is finalizing a lawsuit accusing Ottawa of infringing on the rights of medical pot users and growers.

He and a handful of other lawyers working on the lawsuit to be filed in Federal Court within weeks have reviewed more than 3,000 victim impact statements from across the country to pick the 15 best representatives. [Read more…]