Voicing the need to have a reliable source of medicinal marijuana, concerned residents crowded City Hall Tuesday afternoon to implore council to take another look at shutting down the city’s two medical marijuana dispensaries. Pic Cred: Ari Dublion.
There was an impassioned string of testimonials from local residents, then just before 4:20 pm, Councillor Russell Brewer brought forward a motion to have city staff begin investigating the process of regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. It passed unanimously. “I don’t want to wait around for another two years while the feds wait to decide how and when they are going to do what they may or may not do,” Councillor Brewer said. “We need to move on what we can control, and that’s location, size, hours of operation and who can go into these stores.”
Already one of Powell River’s two dispensaries has temporarily shut down after they both received warning letters from the City earlier this month stating they were operating outside the municipality’s business licensing bylaws and were subject to up to $15,000 a day in fines. Grassroots Botanical Wellness Cooperative, the first dispensary to open in Powell River, closed its doors immediately. The latest shop to hit the main drag, WeeMedical on Marine Avenue remains open for business.
Following the passing of Councillor Brewer’s motion, city staff will begin conducting an investigation into what bylaw amendments are necessary to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, as Vancouver, Victoria, Port Alberni, Kitimat and Squamish have already done. They will then report back to council.