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OPINION: Canada will legalize pot, after arresting a bunch of people for pot offences first


Canada will legalize pot, after arresting a bunch of people for pot offences first: Neil Macdonald

By: Neil Macdonald – CBC NEWS OPINION – April 19, 2017

“Too many Canadians,” declares the Liberal Party of Canada on its website, “end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts” of marijuana.

Enforcement of cannabis law, it continues, “traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses.”

Well said. Courageous, even. Huzzah.

So. What’s the government’s solution?

Well, it intends to continue arresting, prosecuting and criminalizing Canadians who commit this minor and non-violent offence, at least for another year or so. Young Canadians are particularly vulnerable to arrest.

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Canada intends to continue arresting, prosecuting and criminalizing Canadians who commit this minor and non-violent offence. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

 

Why keep criminalizing? Good question, and the CBC’s Carol Off asked it during an interview with Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, after the government revealed its legislative plans last week.

In response, the minister delivered this clanging non-sequitur:

“Well, we’re working on delivering our campaign promise to legalize cannabis, strictly regulate and restrict access to it with the ultimate objective to keep it out of the hands of children and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals. . . ”

So Off asked again: Why another year?

Wilson-Raybould’s reply: “Well, we first of all, I completely respect the parliamentary process and will certainly monitor this piece of legislation as it as it moves through.”

If that sounds like gibberish, it’s because it is.

 

Wilson-Raybould has not explained why the government intends to keep on criminalizing Canadians so unfairly. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

True to form, this government has written down a series of talking points, in this case, trying to make it sound like it’s cracking down on pot rather than legalizing it. And Justin Trudeau’s ministers are sticking to the messaging from party central like a child reciting Dr. Seuss.

Not once in that As It Happens interview did Wilson-Raybould explain why the government intends to keep on criminalizing Canadians so unfairly (see the Liberal party’s website statement) for another year.

Instead, literally every second time she opened her mouth, she re-spouted the line about “strictly regulating and restricting access.” Off asked eight questions. Four times, Wilson-Raybould robotically reverted to the same phrase.

‘Not a free-for-all’

Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, a parliamentary lifer who mastered the art of repetitive dronetalk sometime back in the last millennium, was out peddling more or less the same line, but with an added warning: Not only will the government continue to criminalize Canadians for what it considers a trifling offence, enforcement will be vigorous.

“Existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place, and they need to be respected,” Goodale declared. “This must be an orderly transition. It is not a free-for-all.”

Why the government cannot simply decide to invoke prosecutorial and police discretion, and cease enforcing the cannabis laws it considers unjust, was not explained. Why that would necessarily be a “free for all” also went unexplained

And Goodale went even further. All those Canadians who were prosecuted successfully in the past for this trifling, minor, non-violent offence will continue to bear the burden of a criminal record, even though this government says such prosecutions were wrong and is moving, albeit slowly, to strike down the law.

Goodale was explicit: there will be no blanket pardon. Again, no explanation. He was too busy administering stern warnings about continued enforcement, and, of course, “strictly regulating and restricting access” once the law is finally changed.

All of this is to satisfy conservative Canadians who, even though they probably can’t explain it, continue to believe smoking pot should be a crime.

‘Addicted to prohibition’

Craig Jones, director of the Canadian chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, says that “after 50 years of intense propaganda, we are essentially addicted to prohibition. It’s the only way we know.”

Jones points out that cannabis was criminalized by fiat in 1923, with no discussion or debate in parliament. Interestingly, he says, the first actual arrest for possession wasn’t until 1947.

That’s probably because several generations ago, Canadians regarded cannabis as an innocuous herb with some medicinal value, not a drug that turns good children into fiends.

“Your average family doctor a century ago probably knew a great deal more about the therapeutic value of cannabis than a doctor today.”

As for the government’s strange desire to keep arresting and prosecuting Canadians for possession, Jones says: “It’s hard to extricate yourself from a policy error.”

Crossing the border

But back to Off’s interview with the justice minister. She raised another excellent question: Once cannabis is legal in Canada, what should Canadians answer when asked by U.S. border agents whether they’ve ever used it?

Because admitting it at the border can result in being barred from entering the U.S. for life, even though many states have now decriminalized cannabis, and eight states have outright legalized it.

Wilson-Raybould could have said something sensible, like: “The government of Canada will press the Trump administration to understand that after legalization in Canada, millions of Canadians will be placed in an impossible situation at the border, and we need a clear understanding between our nations.”

Instead, somewhat weirdly, she started talking about what a great job Ralph Goodale is doing keeping Canada’s border safe, then strongly advised anyone crossing into the United States to tell the truth if asked about pot use. Then said she looks forward to “continuing conversations” with Jeff Sessions, her extreme-law-and-order American counterpart.

Now, it could be that Wilson-Raybould was subversively advising Canadians that if every one of us who has ever smoked pot starts declaring it at the border, it would jam traffic to a halt and the Americans, in the interest of continued commerce, would likely stop asking the damned question.

But, given that she’s a minister in Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, that’s unlikely. What she probably meant to say was that marijuana would be strictly regulated and access restricted.

Because, of course, this can’t just be a free for all.

 

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Ottawa’s plans for cannabis legalization may be slowed by provinces


Ottawa’s plans for cannabis legalization may be slowed by provinces

By: Mike Hager – March 27, 2017 – Globe and Mail

Ottawa’s plan to legalize marijuana by next year could hit serious roadblocks across the country, as provinces and territories are expected to have different approaches to solving complicated policy issues such as where to sell cannabis and how much to tax the drug.

The government signalled this weekend it expects to roll out legislation before April 20 – a day cannabis is celebrated across the globe – and that the recreational use of the drug would reportedly be legalized by July 1, 2018.

But, to date, the federal government has indicated that it will leave the contentious issues of regulating the wholesale distribution and retailing of cannabis up to the provinces and territories, a move that could make next year’s target seem too ambitious for some jurisdictions, several industry insiders and academics told The Globe and Mail.

Perry Kendall, B.C.’s provincial health officer and a member of last year’s federal task force that informed the government’s continuing approach to legalization, said some provinces want a slower approach while others favour bolder action. He said those who want faster changes argued the current grey period – where the drug “is going to be legal but isn’t now” – has left municipalities, police forces, provinces and territories hamstrung.

“They’re all calling for clarity,” said Dr. Kendall, who said he first became attuned to the harms of cannabis prohibition while working as the City of Toronto’s chief medical health officer during the mid-1990s.

The independent task force gathered the widest range of opinions on the issue of whether people should be able to grow the plant at home, he said. Other contentious aspects of legalization included how much people should be allowed to possess, whether edibles should be sold and how to tackle drug-impaired driving, he added.

Brent Zettl, whose Saskatoon-based company Prairie Plant Systems has grown marijuana under one federal system or another for the past 15 years, said he doubts Ottawa has buy-in from every region of the country to unilaterally roll out the legalization of the drug.

“The [provinces] that are more in favour of it are going to move at breakneck speed to endorse that, but the other ones are going to take a look and see,” he said. “The attitude has always been and, rightly so, that unless there’s something meaningful there [in law], they’re not going to spend the time and resources making it a priority – because of all the other things that each province has to worry about.”

Mr. Zettl said many provincial health ministers could be caught flatfooted on the issue and that some provinces are going to have a much more difficult time answering questions such as where the drug will be sold.

To read the entire article click here

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Marc Emery Charges Laid on 15 Counts including Drug Trafficking, Conspiracy and Possession


BY: World Cannabis – March 9, 2017

Marc and Jodie Emery were arrested last night in at the Toronto Pearson Airport on their way to a Cannabis festival in Spain, Spannabis.

The couple appeared in Toronto court Thursday afternoon and were remanded into custody.  Bail hearing is expected to proceed Friday morning.

The couple has been charged with drug trafficking, conspiracy, and possession.

Marc Emery has been charged with the following, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, three counts of trafficking schedule II, five counts of possession for the purpose schedule II, five counts of possession proceeds of crime and fail-to-comply recognizance.

Jodie Emery has been charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, possession for the purpose schedule II, trafficking schedule II and two counts of possession proceeds of crime.

Chris and Erin Goodwin and Britney Guerra, face charges that include conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

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New Workshop is Helping Seniors Navigate the World of Medical Marijuana


By CTV News | February 18, 2017

There Might be Something Special About Grandma’s Latest Batch of Brownies

A new monthly workshop north of Toronto is helping seniors navigate the world of medical marijuana.

“Our demographic is middle-aged to older people,” Rick Gillman of CanCann Consulting told CTV Barrie. “We do have lots of people in their 80s and even one I know in their 90s who are successfully using cannabis and having great results with it.”

Marijuana has been used to treat a diverse array of conditions, such as PTSD, epilepsy and arthritis. From general information about cannabis, as the plant is also called, to ways it can be turned into edibles, oils and tinctures, the workshop covered all aspects of using marijuana as a medicine.

People also showed up to tell others how the plant has helped them.

“I came today to share my experiences,” cancer survivor Jennifer May told CTV Barrie. “This excites me… to see how people are reacting, and it’s positive.”

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The workshop was held Saturday at The Barn Co-op, a community hub in Meaford, Ont. So many people came out that it was standing room only. The workshops have proven to be so popular that they are now being held on a monthly basis.

The events even feature a cannabis cooking class.

“I’m learning that it’s actually not a hard process at all,” Midland, Ont. resident Mary Ellen told CTV Barrie. “It looks like it’s something I could do myself.”

Organizers say the stigma of using the plant is now fading away.

“(That) allows us to share our stories, our experiences, with one another,” presenter Fred Harris said.

In Canada, it has been legal to use marijuana for medical purposes since 2001. Currently, the only legal way to obtain the plant, outside of growing it yourself, is through a licensed producer after receiving written approval from a health care practitioner.

The federal Liberals, who campaigned on the promise of legalizing recreational marijuana, are expected to unveil legislation to this effect this spring.

 

Read article at CTV News:

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Saint John Protesters Show Community Support for Raided Dispensaries


By Shane Ross | February 18th, 2017

Protesters show support for raided dispensaries

About 20 people rallied outside Saint John City Hall on Saturday to protest police raids on medical marijuana dispensaries. “It’s just like closing down some pharmacies, right?” said the rally organizer who identified herself as Mars Aubrey. “People need it and if there’s not anywhere to get it, then where are they going to go?”

Twelve people were charged after police raided six dispensaries in Saint John last month.

Marijuana rally

Saint John Police kept a close eye on the protesters Saturday. No arrests were made. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Aubrey said a lot of people, including herself, didn’t realize the dispensaries were operating illegally. Though police have said publicly the dispensaries were operating illegally, Aubrey said it was “deceiving” to let them open and do business for months before shutting them down.

‘If they raid us again, we’ll take it from there.’ – Bowe Merchant, on reopening HBB Medical Inc.

“If you have a bunch of stores around the city and nobody’s doing anything and they’re saying they’re legal dispensaries, I mean as the public, it’s kind of deceiving.”

The federal government has announced plans to legalize marijuana this spring, but the sale of the drug remains illegal under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act unless it’s from a licensed dealer.

Marijuana rally

One woman at the rally said closing a medical marijuana dispensary is like closing a pharmacy. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Joanne Richard, who uses marijuana to relieve pain and inflammation in her spine, said waiting for her medication to arrive from a licensed operator is not always convenient — especially when the postal service is interrupted by storms like the ones last week.

“It’s important that we have the right to access our medication where we want,” she said, taking a bite out of a whoopie pie laced with marijuana.

Raided store reopened

Richard said if people had trouble accessing other types of prescribed medication, “every politician would be jumping about it.”

Bowe Merchant is trying to do something about it. His father and three employees were arrested when police raided their dispensary HBB Medical Inc., but he reopened the store two weeks ago.

“If they raid us again, we’ll take it from there,” he said. “It’s uncertain, but we’ll just take it day by day and just hope for the best because we are here for the people.”

 

Read more at the CBC:

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Blumenauer, other Congressmen Form Cannabis Caucus


| February 16th, 2017

The prohibition of cannabis has been a failure and these congressmen want to fix it

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer joined fellow congressmen from Alaska, California and Colorado Thursday, Feb. 16, to create the first Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

Blumenauer, a Portland Democrat representing the 3rd Congressional District, is the co-chairman of the caucus with U.S. Reps. Dana Rohrabacher of California, Jared Polis of Colorado and Don Young of Alaska. They sent letters Thursday inviting members of the U.S. House to join the caucus, which will provide a forum for representatives to “discuss, learn and work together to establish a better and more rational approach to federal cannabis policy.

“The prohibition of cannabis has been a failure, and Americans across our nation are demanding a more sensible approach,” said Blumenauer. “Following the November election, federal laws are now out of step with 44 states. The time is now to come together and bring the federal government in line with the will of the American people.”

Recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Alaska, California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts. In 18 others states, medical marijuana is legal. Federal laws still classify marijuana as a controlled substance, setting up conflicts with laws in the states. Federal banking rules also make it difficult for marijuana businesses to handle their earnings.

Anthony Johnson of Portland, New Approach Oregon director, said he hoped the new caucus could help “lead the way for important federal legislation, including, tax and banking reform, easing federal research restrictions, allowing military veterans to utilize medical cannabis and respecting states’ rights to form their own marijuana laws.”

“The Congressional Cannabis Caucus will be an important ally, not just in passing future marijuana law reforms, but also in preventing the federal government from trampling the will of the voters,” Johnson said in a statement.

 

Read article at Portland Tribune:

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Langford Mayor Upset Over Reopening of Marijuana Dispensary


By Michael D Reid | February 12th, 2017

 

Langford mayor Stew Young says he’s madder than hell and he’s not going to take it anymore.

“I am not going to turn a blind eye to something illegal,” said Young, referring to the fact that the Green Tree Medical Dispensary, which sells marijuana, had reopened on the weekend. It had been shut down by West Shore RCMP on Jan. 17, the day after it opened.

world cannabis news langford mayor upset reopened

“It is still illegal and the police will do their job, but the federal government better get it’s act together, because I’m fed up with the top politicians in the country saying we’re going to legalize pot and it’s turned into a free-for-all in the meantime,” said Young, adding it’s up to West Shore RCMP to take action. “I will never go to a policeman and say, ‘Do not uphold the law.’

A spokesman for West Shore RCMP said on Saturday that police were aware Green Tree, operating without a business license, had reopened and they were continuing to investigate.

West Shore RCMP said when Green Tree was first closed that it’s illegal for medicinal marijuana dispensaries or compassion clubs to sell marijuana to the public, regardless of whether customers have medical licences to possess marijuana or the vendor has a licence to produce.

“Businesses and/or individuals operating in contravention of the CDSA and Health Canada regulations may be subject to investigation and criminal charges in accordance with Canadian laws,” said West Shore RCMP spokesman Const. Alex Bérubé.

Despite a stop work order from the City of Langford posted on the door of the business at #108-688 Granderson Rd., an illuminated OPEN sign listed  operating hours as 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily.

A staffer at Langford’s only storefront marijuana dispensary confirmed it had reopened but declined further comment.

West Shore RCMP investigators conducted a compliance check before shutting it down the first time, said spokesman Const. Alex Berube in a news release.

He said officers observed evidence of possible offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Some marijuana was seized.

“You can’t say this is an election promise and then just do nothing,” said Young, referring to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to eventually legalize and regulate non-medical cannabis use.

While the federal government has said it plans to introduce legislation this spring, it could be 2018 before it is implemented.

Since there still is no solid plan in place in the meantime, it’s making life difficult for municipal politicians, bylaw enforcers and police, said Young.

He has told a dozen applicants for marijuana storefronts that  Langford will not consider granting business licenses until federal legislation is in place.

“With no regulations in place, they’re creating a big problem. They’ve really let down the public on this,” he said.

He said it was absurd that, while Health Canada regulates production of medical marijuana by producers across Canada who distribute their producxt by mail, there are no regulations for storefront operations.

“What knowledge [about medical marijuana] does some guy setting up a shop in Langford have?” he said. “Licensed producers are not supplying these pot shops. There are no licensing agreements yet.”

He said “the feds could solve this in one month” if pharmacies were permitted to sell medical marijuana from licenced producers approved by Health Canada.

“It should be distributed through a doctor or a pharmacy,” added Young, who says he has no trouble with the concept of decriminalizing marijuana.

“We just don’t know where these guys are getting their marijuana. It could even be from organized crime for all we know.”

Jonathan Henrikson, who operates the online Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Vancouver Island directory, said he learned through his Facebook page that the Langford dispensary had reopened.

 

Read article at The Times Colonist:

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Police Chiefs Reject Proposal for Homegrown Marijuana


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Canada’s police chiefs are calling on Ottawa to reject some of the key recommendations in a federal report on the legalization of marijuana, stating the proposals by former Liberal minister Anne McLellan will be impossible to enforce.

In a new discussion paper, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) calls on Ottawa to “hold off on home grows” when it tables legislation in the spring to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

 The top law-enforcement officers in the country agree that personal cultivation could eventually be allowed, but warn it should not happen at the same time as the recreational market is opened up to the private sector.

CACP said police only have a limited ability to control in-home production, and that legalizing personal production would open the door to the “diversion to black markets” of marijuana. In addition, the association said personal production would run counter to the government’s plans for a “highly regulated and controlled system,” and would be “contrary to other measures to minimize child/youth exposure and access to cannabis products.”

 In a report released last December, a task force chaired by Ms. McLellan urged the government to allow Canadians to buy or carry 30 grams of marijuana for personal use, and to grow up to four plants at home.

Ms. McLellan did not put much emphasis in her report on the need to find ways to reduce the risks of impaired driving before the drug is legalized, stating the best solution was to give researchers additional time to develop proper detection tools.

“This is not going to be a new challenge that is created by legalization. Drug-impaired driving is a problem, or a challenge, in Canada today,” Ms. McLellan said after the release of her task force’s report.

However, Canada’s police chiefs said drug-impaired driving “will become an even greater issue with legalization.”

 “We are very concerned that the prevalence of driving under the influence of drugs is not on Canadians’ consciousness,” the discussion paper said.

There is no recognized technology or exact limits to quantify marijuana impairment in Canada, which makes it hard for police to enforce existing laws. The police chiefs said the best way to tackle the issue at the moment is with trained and qualified Drug Recognition Experts, who can only receive field certification in the United States.

“The CACP strongly recommends that governments increase investment in Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) and associated officer training to improve law enforcement’s ability to detect and remove drug-impaired drivers from our streets,” the discussion paper said.

CACP pointed out that it supports a majority of the recommendations put forward by Ms. McLellan, including the call for public-education campaigns on the dangers of marijuana and drug-impaired driving, strict labelling requirements, and a highly regulated production and distribution model.

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Liberal MP Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the justice minister and the government point man on the marijuana file, said in an interview this week he is aware of the concerns of law-enforcement officials.

“It’s part of an ongoing dialogue,” said Mr. Blair, the former chief of the Toronto Police Service. “We’re going to have to work very closely with the police leadership in this country and their perspectives are important to the discussion.”

The legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes is about two years away. A senior federal official said last year that Ms. McLellan’s report was well received inside the government and will have a large influence on the upcoming legislation to legalize marijuana, which will be tabled in Parliament in the spring of 2017.

The official explained that opening up the legal market will depend on the “readiness of the provinces,” which will be in charge of regulating the wholesale distribution and retailing of cannabis. As such, the official said that implementing the new regime can be expected in 2019.

Read article on the Globe and Mail:

 

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World’s Largest and Most Socially Responsible 420 Event Comes to Vancouver in April


By World Cannabis News – March 8, 2017

Vancouver 420 –  World’s Largest and Most Socially Acceptable 420 Event comes to Vancouver April 20, 2017.

‘Bigger and Better then Ever’, Proclaims Long Time Activist Robert Moore

Serious concerns over the Sunset Beach location for 420 party goers has sparked discussions with the Vancouver Parks Board. Issues ranging from safety, underage access, garbage and the ecological impact, additional costs to security and public safety measures, and the fact that smoking is not allowed in any public parks. These questions are being taken into consideration as the Vancouver Parks Board debates whether or not to shut down the Sunset Beach 420 location.

In lieu of these developments, the event hosted at the Vancouver Art Gallery has been expanded to accommodate the expected 420 loving masses.  This will be the largest 420 event ever seen. We spoke with long time activist Robert Moore about the work and preparations for this iconic community event.

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“We are working with the community to arrange for large garbage bins to be on site as well as to conduct our own voluntary ID checks, and provide all 19+ guests with free Safety Bracelets – a simple way for our vendors to spot people who are 19+ ” Robert explained. “We want to help clean up the outdated stereotype of the ‘lazy irresponsible stoner’, and show the community areas where we share common ground, so we can make this event the best protest to free the weed that has ever been. We share a vision that allows us make safety a #1 priority at this cannabis rally. We know that together we can send a clear message to the Liberal Party – we want timely solutions to the cannabis prohibition questions” said Robert Moore.

“We will not be charging any activists to vend cannabis, instead this 420 rally will be paid for by sponsors who would like to see a safe and well managed event. We all want to ‘FREE THE WEED’ not ‘FEE THE WEED'” Moore said. “The growing number of activists that are requesting vending space has forced us to expand the event map three times. In our latest update of the 420 Vancouver event, the map has room for over 420 vendors.  I want to see all the vendors benefit from the spaces at this event being free and open to everyone.

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We encourage event vendors to invest in tents as well as some nice weed, so they can make a few bucks, just like the big guys do – all year long. You can get your tents now for cheap here, and here at Home Depot for $126.00. This is how we free the weed, says Robert.

There are so many enthusiastic artists and community speakers requesting to speak as well as perform at this years giant 420 event, that we have been forced to add a second stage to help us make room for everyone. On the main stage, we are excited to have a wide range of informed guests including a special appearance from the official World Cannabis lawyer. He will be giving a very helpful speech entitled ‘Our Cannabis Rights’. The Bud Bowl and Vancouver 420 games will be hosted at the main stage, as well as the official announcement and presentation of the seven Leafy Award winners for 2017.

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Here is our exciting event schedule for 2017:

Stage One: Speakers and Entertainment

Your Cannabis Rights

Speech by World Cannabis’s lawyer

Robbert More World cannabis news

Robert Moore Speaks at City Hall

Activist Tool Kit

Speech by Robert Moore

Is Legalization Really the End of Prohibition?

Speech By Ron L. Woodruff

The Bud Bowl

http://www.budbowl.biz

The Vancouver  420 Games

http://www.vacouver420games.ca

1) Weed Relay

2) Infused Jello Bikini Wrestling

3) Epic Bud Hunters

Stage Two: The Educational Stage

Cannabis as Medicine

The educational stage will be hosted by Cheryl T. Rose from the Halley Rose Foundation. She will discuss her incredible healing journey with cannabis as well as her families struggles with the ever-present daily seizures caused by epilepsy.

haley rose foundation world cannabis news

What’s in your Weed

An important workshop conducted by Harry from the Smoke Show – this workshop will analyze your weed, and help you become a better cannabis consumer.

Darwin Labs has donated staff and time to provide our event with a high-pressure liquid chromatography for professional grade, on-site cannabis testing all day long.

Edibles Workshop

Vendors will share their special recipes, and help you learn how to cook with cannabis

Growers  Workshop

Learn about growing cannabis from informed industry experts, ask questions, trade your seeds, and share your own home grown buds.

Hash making for dummies

Learn how to make your own hash, edibles or even stop in to check and see if your cannabis is safe or learn the THC content of your homemade hash.

 

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141 Cannabis Dispensaries have been Raided Under Justin Trudeau


World Cannabis News | February 7th, 2017

Who was the harsher Anti-cannabis Prime Minister Stephen Harper or Justin Trudeau?

To help you decide we would like to present this list of 141 raided cannabis dispensaries sense so called ‘pro pot’ prime minister Justin Trudeau took office. The Liberal Party leader continues to have police departments enforce the illegality of cannabis.

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Justin Trudeau has said clearly in recent speeches “the current prohibition stands”. Justin has asked Canadian law enforcement to arrest thousands of Canadians who voted for him, and we here at WC feel this behaviour makes him seem more dangerous to the cannabis community then Mr. Harper ever was. Stephen Harper increased mandatory minimums for drug charges, but dispensary raids were very rare under Harper. Hopefully we will soon see an end to this harmful drug war. Most Canadians want a legal system in place for business to operate and thrive within.

World Cannabis has been providing factual coverage as well as news as these raids have occurred. We are committed to helping keep our elected officials honest. We know that working together we can end the stigmas and free the weed in Canada and globally.

Here is a list of reasons why you should probably never vote Liberal again:

Police Raids on Marijuana Dispensaries End of 2015

Nov. 4th, 2015 Justin Trudeau Elected

Nov. 25th, 2015 Deroche/Mission, BC
BC Pain Society’s Compassion Club, source.

Nov. 28th, 2015 Sechelt, BC
S&M Medicinal Sweet Shoppe, source.

Dec. 1st, 2015 Nainaimo, BC
3 raids
Trees Dispensary, source.
Phoenix Pain Management Society, source.
Nature’s Source Society, source.

Dec. 3rd, 2015 Halifax, NS
Farm Assists Medical Resource Cannabis Centre on Gottingen Street, source.

Police Raids on Marijuana Dispensaries in 2016

Jan. 18th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Good Weeds Vapor Lounge on Danforth, source.

Apr. 5th, 2016 Chillawack, BC
WeeMedical Dispensary raided on 5th Ave., source.

Apr. 6th, 2016 Campbell River, BC
Trees Dispensary on 14th Avenue was raided, source.

Apr. 18th, 2016 Chillawack, BC
WeeMedical Dispensary raided on 5th Ave. for the second time. Source.

Apr. 28th, Sydney, BC
RCMP raided the marijuana shop, Dispensary by the Sea, source.

May 26th, 2016 Toronto, ON dubbed Project Claudia
43 dispensarys busted in one day
90 arrests, 257 charges laid in Toronto marijuana dispensary raids

world cannabis dipensary raid map claudia operation toronto canada

Project Claudia Map

The following locations were targeted in the ‘Project Claudia’ raids:
1. Cana Boss Dispensary – 1684 Queen Street West, source.
2. Canna Bank Dispensary – 3505 Dundas Street West, source.
3. Weeds Glass and Gifts – 1332 Queen Street West, source.
4. Weeds Glass and Gifts – 2452 Bloor Street West, source.
5. Green Cross Club – 699A Lawrence Avenue West, source.
6. Kanbi The Dispensary – 1715 St Clair Avenue West, source.
7. Medical Club – 377 Marlee Avenue, source.
8. Natures Touch Dispensary – 1346 St. Clair Avenue West, source.
9. Up Dispensaries – 1792 Eglinton Avenue West, source.
10. Weed the North – 1532 Eglinton Avenue West, source.
11. Weemedical Dispensary Society – 568 St. Clair Avenue West, source.
12. Weemedical Dispensary Society – 1602 Eglinton Avenue West, source.
13. York Dispensary – 1478 Eglinton Avenue West, source.
14. 416 Medicinal Health – 850 King Street West, source.
15. Cannawide Dispensary – 34 Kensington Avenue, source.
16. Cannawide Dispensary – Top Shelf – 160 Baldwin Street, Unit 3, source.
17. Eden Medicinal Society – 760 Queen Street West, source.
18. The Green Room Society – 402 Spadina Avenue, source.
19. Cannabis Dispensary – 66 Nassau Street, source.
20. Holistic Cannabinoids – 179 Baldwin Street, source.
21. Weeds Glass and Gifts – 611 College Street, source.
22. WeLeaf Dispensary – 5 Bruyers Mews, source.
23. Maricare – 3808 Bloor Street West, source.
24. SoCo (Social Collective) – 1874 Wilson Avenue, source.

world cannabis police raid bust toronto ProjectClaudia
25. Hempsterz Hemp Shop and Lounge – 65 Martin Ross Avenue, Unit 9, source.
26. GW Weed Emporium – 2226 Kingston Road, source.
27. Scarborough Dispensary – 1260 Kennedy Road, source.
28. SoCo (Social Collective) – 2347 Eglinton Avenue East, source.
29. The Rolling Bud – 4234 Lawrence Avenue East, #5, source.
30. Buddha Pharm – 399 Yonge Street, source.
31. CALM – 600 Church Street, source.
32. Medical Compassion Clinic – 125 Church Street, source.
33. Rainbow Medicinal Cannabis – 69 Queen Street East, Unit #201, source.
34. CALM – Canadian As Living Medicine – 7 Breadalbane Street, source.
35. Calm on the Avenue – 538 Eglinton Ave West, source.
36. Weeds Glass and Gifts – 92 Avenue Road, source.
37. S.W.E.D. – 1898 Danforth Avenue, source.
38. BC Cannamed – 2116 Queen Street East, Unit C, source.
39. Green Rhino – 393 Danforth Avenue, source.
40. Medical Club – 337 Danforth Avenue, source.
41. S.W.E.D – 333 Danforth Avenue, source.
42. Weeds Glass & Gifts – 341 Danforth Avenue, source.
43. GW Weed Emporium – 2226 Kingston Road, source.

June 7th, 2016 Windsor, ON
Burnies Compassion Society at 490 Wyandotte St. W., source.

June 9th, 2016 Powell River, BC
WeeMedical Dispensary Society 4493 Marine Avenue, source.

June 23rd, Toronto, ON
4 search warrants on four midtown and downtown dispensaries.
3 Canna Clinic locations at
-44 Kensington Ave., source.
-2352 Yonge St., source.
-793 Dundas St. W., source.
Cannabis Culture at 801 Queen St. W., source.

July 21st, 2016 Hamilton, ON
Bright Moments Dispensary at 238 King Street East, source.

Aug. 2nd, 2016 Waterloo, ON
Waterloo Dispensary on King Street North, source.

Aug. 3rd, 2016 Toronto, ON
Barc’s Budz – Danforth Compassion Clinic, source.

Aug. 3rd, 2016 Toronto, ON
Canna Clinic’s Dundas location, source.

Aug. 8th, 2016 Toronto, ON
The Green Room Society located on Dundas street, source.

Aug. 9th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Officers raided 3 dispensaries
S.W.E.D. dispensary at 1898 Danforth, source.
S.W.E.D. outlet, at 988 Pape Ave., source.
Section 56 dispensary at 912 Danforth Ave., source.

Aug. 10th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Cannabis Culture – 711 Queen St. W raided August 10th or 11th, source.
The Green Room Society Mount Pleasant – 562 Mt. Pleasant Rd., source.
The Healing Centre Dundas – 1506 Dundas St. W., source.

world cannabis news dispensary raid closed arrested two men

Aug. 13, 2016 Toronto, ON
Evergreen Medicinals raided, 2078 Dundas Street West, source.

Aug. 15th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Twisted Smoke Haberdashery at 1245 Dundas St. W., source.

Aug. 16th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Canna Clinic Eglinton West raided August 16th 2016, source.

Aug. 17th, 2016 Alderville, ON
OPP execute search warrant at South Shore Wellness Full Service Cannabis Dispensary located at 8987 County Road 45 in Roseneath. Source.

Aug. 18th, 2016 London, ON
Police swooped down on Tasty Budd’s medical marijuana dispensary on Whancliffe Road, source.

Aug. 19th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Police searched the Greentree Medical Dispensary on Danforth Avenue, source.

Aug. 25th, 2016 Missasauga, ON
Major Drugs and Vice Bureau officers executed a search warrant at Pharma-Cann on Drew Road, source.

Aug. 25th, 2016 Quebec City, QC
Weeds Herbes et Curiosités – Quebec City- raided, source.

Aug. 30th, 2016 Barrie, ON
2 raids
City police closed down 2 downtown Barrie marijuana dispensaries: Sunrise Medicinal and Med West. Source.

Sept. 6th, 2016 Merritt, BC
Police executed a search warrant on the Merritt Compassion Society located downtown on Quilchena Avenue. Source.

Sept. 7th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Better Living 222 – 2791 Lakeshore Blvd. W., source.
S.W.E.D. Society Lakeshore – 3440 Lakeshore Blvd. W., source.
Canna Clinic Broadview – 350 Broadview Ave., source.

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Sept. 9th, 2016 Missasauga, ON
Search warrant at Potluck Apothecary & Dispensary, located 101 Spadina Ave., source.

Sept. 15th, 2016 Oshawa, ON
Emerald Triangle on Simcoe Street Northsource.
420 Compassion Club on Simcoe Street Southsource.

Sept. 15th, 2016 Whitby, ON
Green Street Medical Society on Dunlop Streetsource.

Sept. 15th,2016 Peterbourough, ON
Cannabis Culture at 382 George St., source.

Sept. 16th, 2016 Port Alberni, BC
West Side Alternatives on Athol Street was raided by RCMP, source.

Sept. 16th, 2016 Toronto, ON
THC 416 on Dundas Street West, near Dufferin Street

Sept. 20th, 2016 Hamilton, ON
MMJ-Canada’s Urban Dispensary at 118 George St.

Sept. 22nd, 2016 Port Alberni, BC
The Port Alberni Cannabis Club on Bute Street

Sept. 23rd, 2016 Durham, ON
420 Compassion Club on Simcoe Street South raided again the 2nd raid of this store in a week, source.

Sept. 26th, 2016 Toronto, ON
officers executed a search warrant at the Eden Medicinal Society, at 1239 Dundas Street West, source.

Sept. 28th, 2016 Surrey, BC
Surrey RCMP officers executed a search warrant on Da Kine Glass and Gifts on 152nd St. Source.

Sept. 29th, 2016 Peterbourough, ON
City police raid for the second time in a week that reopened Cannabis Culture on George St. in Peterborough, Ont., source.

Oct. 11th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Canna Clinic dispensary, 491 Queen Street West, source.

Oct. 15th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Evergreen Medicinals 2078 Dundas Street West, source.

Nov. 1st, 2016 Toronto, ON
Canna Clinic Queen West raided, source. 

Nov. 4th, 2016 Ottawa, ON
6 raids, source.
Police raided CannaGreen on St. Joseph Boulevard;
3 Green Tree Medical Dispensary locations; one on Preston Street, Montreal Road and Bank Street;
2 WeeMedical Dispensary locations; Rideau Street and St. Laurent Boulevard.

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Nov. 8th, 2016 Whitewood, SK
Martin Medical Services at the 600 block of 3rd Ave, source.

Nov. 9th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Cannabis Culture marijuana dispensary raided – at 365 King Street West in Toronto, source.

Nov. 24th, 2016 Coquitlam, BC
Cannabis Culture – Port Coquitlam Raided, source.

Nov. 29th, 2016 St. Johns, NL
CannaLeaf raided

Dec. 17th, 2016 Montreal, QC
6 Cannabis Culture dispensaries raided in Montreal
The Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM) said in a release on Friday that six dispensaries were raided by their officers on Friday, netting 10 suspects, 40 lbs. of marijuana, and cash.

Dec. 21st, 2016 Quebec, ON
Clinique Canna-Plus – Gatineau – raided December 21st 2016, source.

Dec. 22nd, 2016 Hamilton, ON
Royal Farmacy on Main Street East

Dec. 30th, 2016 Halifax, ON
Aunt Auntie’s Health and Wellness Centre was raided

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Police Raids on Marijuana Dispensaries in 2017

Jan. 3rd, 2017 Ottawa, ON
613 Medicinals on 274 Montreal Rd, source.

Jan. 6th, 2017 Ottawa, ON
CannaBotanix Dispensary at 646 Somerset Street, source. 

Jan. 7th, 2017 St. Johns, NL
The Healing Tree in downtown St. John’s, source.

Jan. 7th, 2017 Campbellton, NB
Campbellton medical marijuana business
Dr greenthumb

Jan. 9th, 2017 Ottawa, ON
CannaBotanix Dispensary at 646 Somerset St. W., source.

Jan. 10th, 2017 Banff, AB
police conducted a raid on Canna Clinic, source.

Jan. 15th, 2017 Ottawa, ON
Topspot marijuana dispensary on Bank Street, source.

Jan. 17th, 2017 – Langford, BC
The Green Tree marijuana dispensary, source.

Jan. 19th, 2017 Toronto, ON
Weed The North in the city’s west-end, source.

Jan. 22nd, 2017 Toronto, ON
The Relief Center, 328 Queen St. E. (Queen & Parliament), source.

Jan. 24th, 2017 St. Johns, NB
6 dispensary raids, 12 arrested
Medicinal Grounds, 104 Prince William St., source.
Medicinal Grounds, 505 Rothesay Ave., source.
BCW, 8 Simpson Dr., source.
King Canna, 76 Germain St., source.
HBB Medical Inc., 1714 Rothesay Rd., source.
HBB Medical Inc., 199 Chesley Dr., source.

Jan. 25th, 2017 Victoria, BC
Victoria police raid the Remedy Medicinals marijuana shop on Fisgard Street, source.

Jan. 25th, 2017 Quebec City, QC
La Croix Verte in the Saint-Sauveur neighborhood

Jan. 31st, 2017 Ottawa, ON
Weeds Glass and Gifts on Bank Street was raided, source.

world cannabis news weeds dispensary police closed

Feb. 1st, 2017 Toronto, ON
Canadian Green Dispensary & Holistic Services at 1332 Bloor St. west, source.

Feb. 3rd, 2017 Hamilton, ON
The Medicine Cabinet
The Medicine Cabinet was raided two hours ago. Owner Britney Anne Guerra was charged 4 times and released on sight. After our brief interruption we are reopen again to serve you until 8pm!

Feb. 6th, 2017 Prince George, BC
RCMP in Prince George have shut down a second downtown pot shop, source.

Closures, not raids:

Sept. 19th, 2016 Ottawa, ON
The two Weeds glass and gifts dispensaries have closed
as Canada post flags and seizes packages.

Oct. 20th, 2016 Durham, ON
Durham Dispensary Affiliated with Police Officer has Closed
Living On Inc. Medical Marijuana, a dispensary that recently received a lot of media attention when the public became aware that a police officer was a co-owner, has since shut their doors. The Living On Inc. dispensary notified their patients through an update on their website. Source.

Nov. 3rd, 2016 Ottawa, ON
A bailiff arrived at the CannaGreen dispensary on Roydon Place Wednesday afternoon to enforce an eviction order. Source.

August 14th, 2016 Toronto, ON
Green Panda closes its storefront at 548  Yonge St. This was a result of police activity in the area, but Green Panda was never raided. Source.

Feb. 3rd, 2017 Price George, BC
Canna Clinic opened at 729 Fourth Ave. in late January.
When the business was contacted by phone the morning of Feb. 3, an employee said it was open.
Later the same day, the door to the building was locked and a person inside said they were not going to be open again for some time due to “problems.” Source.

(Please let us know if you are aware of any other dispensaries that have been raided, but not listed. Please leave a comment and link to your source.)

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Judge Kills Mandatory Sentence in Cannabis Growing Case


Sam Pazzano | Febuary 6th, 2017

In baseball, it’s three strikes and you’re out

Mandatory minimum penalties for marijuana growers have now been tossed out three times by Ontario Superior Court judges in the last two years.

The third strike occurred in Hamilton on Friday when Justice Andrew Goodman struck down the two-year mandatory minimum sentence as unconstitutional.

Goodman made the ruling while sentencing Hamilton hair-dresser Trung Tran, who helped produce 992 pot plants at a relative’s rented home in Ancaster.

“The two-year mandatory minimum jail term … constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and violates Section 12 of the Charter,” stated Goodman.

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These mandatory minimums are now knocked out of the ball park for lower court judges, who have to follow these Superior Court rulings.

But Superior Courts judges don’t have to accept these rulings. It’s up to Ontario’s highest level of legal umpires, the Ontario Court of Appeal, to make the next ruling.

The law is what the Court of Appeal says it is — at least until the Supreme Court of Canada decides to weigh in on an issue.

Goodman’s decision was preceded by Justice Bruce Durno’s ruling in 2015, which struck the down the six-month minimum for licensed growers who exceeded their legal allotment by between six and 200 pot plants. Durno nixed the minimum for second-time offender named Duc Vu, 42.

“Justice Durno concluded that this unintentional violation would result in a grossly disproportionate sentence,” said Goodman.

Later in 2015, Justice Michael Code struck down the three-year minimum that was on the books for Hai Thi Pham. The 45-year-old mother of two was convicted of aiding an elaborate grow-up with a crop worth up to $468,000 at a Jane St. apartment.

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Pham received 10 months.

On Friday, Goodman imposed a one-year jail sentence against Tran, 37 and a first-time offender.

“Tran was, at minimum, a caretaker who visited the unoccupied home on several occasions and was aware of the production,” said Goodman, who convicted him of production and possession for the purpose in 2015.

“He was not the leader of the operation. There’s no evidence that he would have profited directly from the distribution of the drugs.”

Goodman called it a “large, sophisticated grow operation where the sole motivation. . .was profit.”

Hamilton cops seized 992 plants, weighing 125 pounds and worth between $250,000 and $500,000 from the Ancaster home.

Read article at The Sun:

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Rally at NZ Parliament today to support legalising medicinal cannabis


By Isaac Davidson –  NZ Herald – Feb 7, 2017

Rally at Parliament today to support legalising medicinal cannabis

Supporters of legalising medicinal cannabis are holding a rally at Parliament today in a bid to make it an election issue.

A group is gathering on Parliament’s front lawn this afternoon, just before Parliament sits for the first time this year.

The campaigners want greater access to medicinal cannabis and an end to arrests for cannabis use or possession.

The event’s promoters say no cannabis will be smoked at the rally because Parliament’s grounds are smoke-free.

“Feel free to bring a vaporiser of edibles to keep this event family friendly,” they said on the event’s Facebook page.

MPs were asked for their views on legalising cannabis for medicinal and recreational use at Parliament this morning.

Labour leader Andrew Little reiterated that his party supported legalisation for medical purposes and would change the law “very quickly” if it formed a Government after the election in September.

But cannabis would not be legalised for recreational use under a Labour-led Government, he said.

Read the entire article here

 

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Canada pressing forward with marijuana legalization amid U.S. uncertainty


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Hawaii Dispensaries Can Start Growing Medical Marijuana Soon


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12 people charged after police raid 6 medical marijuana dispensaries in Saint John


By Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon | January 25th, 2017

Pot dispensaries operate ‘outside the law,’ police chief says, so raids shouldn’t come as surprise

Twelve people are facing drug charges after six medical marijuana dispensaries in Saint John were simultaneously raided by police on Tuesday morning as part of a joint-forces operation.

The 10 a.m. raids stemmed from an investigation by the Saint John Police Force integrated street crime unit over the past “couple of months,” said Sgt. Charles Breen.

‘As the chief law enforcement officer for a community, you have to make a decision whether you’re just going to turn a blind eye to scofflaws that are operating openly or brazenly, or if you’re going to make a stand and enforce the laws of the land.’ – John Bates, police chief

All 12 individuals are either owners or employees of the pot shops and are being charged with possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, Breen said.

They were all arrested without incident and were expected to be released on a promise to appear in court May 2, he said.

Breen could not comment on what items were seized.

Officers remained at the dispensaries into the afternoon, collecting evidence, he said. More details are expected by Wednesday morning.

No other raids are planned, said Breen. But if the six locations reopen, they “will be revisited again by our department,” he said.

Saint John Police Force Chief John Bates

Chief John Bates said police can’t hypothesize on what changes the federal government will make regarding the legalization of marijuana or when those changes will become the ‘law of the land.’ (Twitter)

The execution of the search warrants “should not come as a surprise to anybody,” said Chief John Bates.

“They’re operating outside the law and at some point in time, as the chief law enforcement officer for a community, you have to make a decision whether you’re just going to turn a blind eye to scofflaws that are operating openly or brazenly, or if you’re going to make a stand and enforce the laws of the land,” he said.

“And that was a decision that I made — that we would not stand by. If we had good solid grounds to investigate and prosecute, then we were going to go ahead and do it and I think we got that footing under ourselves.”

The search warrants were executed at the following locations:

  • Medicinal Grounds, 104 Prince William St.
  • Medicinal Grounds, 505 Rothesay Ave.
  • BCW, 8 Simpson Dr.
  • King Canna, 76 Germain St.
  • HBB Medical Inc., 1714 Rothesay Rd.
  • HBB Medical Inc., 199 Chesley Dr.

Uncertainty surrounding enforcement

Although the federal Liberal Party has announced plans to legalize marijuana this spring, the plant remains illegal under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

In the meantime, decisions on how or whether to enforce the pot laws currently on the books have largely fallen to municipal policing agencies.

“To dispense medical marijuana, you have to be licensed by the federal government. These were unlicensed establishments and … it’s our contention that they were trafficking in marijuana,” he said.

But the force was uncertain how to proceed in terms of enforcement and subsequent prosecution, said Bates.

‘Popping up like mushrooms’

In September, Bates told CBC News medical marijuana dispensaries weren’t a top priority for the police force; that they had “bigger fish to fry.”

“We have crime issues that we’re endeavouring to tackle, societal issues like homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling in the uptown we’re trying to cure,” Bates had said.

“I get far more calls about that than I have about a marijuana dispensary.”

“So we just thought we would bide our time and make sure we were dotting all our i’s and crossing all our t’s before we did anything with them,” Bates explained on Tuesday.

Then then dispensaries “started popping up like mushrooms after a rainstorm.”

 

Read entire article at CBC News:

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Vancouver Board of Variance Refuses to Hear Dana Larsen’s Dispensary Appeal


By Ron Woodruff | January 12th, 2017

Vancouver Board of Variance Says No to Variance Request for Local Dispensary

Vancouver – On Wednesday the board of variance refused to hear an appeal filed by Dana Larsen’s dispensary.

Legal representation for The Medical Marijuana Dispensary located at 880 East Hastings street was surprised to receive the unwelcome news as they arrived at City Hall with a large entourage in tow. Lawyer Kirk Tousaw came prepared to argue the merits of the application, however the board had other ideas, and the scheduled hearing was cancelled before anyone present was allowed to speak to the board on the matter.

Dana Larsen is already under the gun for carrying large amounts of cannabis without a license while he was travelling – he currently faces cannabis related possession charges in Alberta.

This failure to secure a variance for their previously rejected dispensary license application, means that Dana and his budtending staff at the Dispensary will be forced to continue operations without a license, or close down their dispensary – one of the longest running storefront dispensaries in town.

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If he chooses to keep operating Mr. Larsen author of two children’s themed cannabis books, will face heavy enforcement from city bylaw officers, who recently increased the fine for unlicensed business from 250 to 1,000 dollars.

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