Successful applicants for Sask.s retail cannabis stores are worried about the continuing operation of illegal outlets once recreational marijuana is legalized.
A three-week hearing is underway at BC Supreme Court, where City of Vancouver lawyers are fighting to shut down dozens of unlicensed medical marijuana pot shops.
The citys existing suite of regulations developed for medical marijuana dispensaries, includes a minimum 300-metre distance from schools, community centres, youth facilities and other cannabis outlets.
“What could happen is that people that run the city could change, and they may change the rule. They may say 150 metres or 200 metres is more reasonable.”
Green Cross Society of BC is also named in the city’s case and manager Rohan Gardiner is hoping for the same.
“We would love to see the liquor control board laws coincide with the new regulatory cannabis laws of being 150 metres.”
A lawyer for several medical marijuana dispensaries has urged a B.C. Supreme Court judge to toss out an application to close the shops, saying the federal government failed to include them in its plan to legalize recreational cannabis.
John Conroy says the dispensaries have been operating illegally in a kind of “grey zone,” and the City of Vancouver has aided and abetted their existence by requiring them to be licensed while it makes a $30,000 profit in each case.
The City of Vancouver is now seeking a court injunction to shut down about 50 medical marijuana dispensaries that remain unlicensed.
Conroy says it’s up to the federal government to make provisions for medical marijuana patients to buy their cannabis in a store, just like recreational users will be permitted to do starting next month.
Patients can currently grow a limited amount of marijuana or have someone grow it for them but Conroy says they have a constitutional right to purchase it from a dispensary if a doctor has approved its use.
The Karuna Health Foundation is the lead plaintiff in the case and currently operates one dispensary that is licensed and another that is not.
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