The Vancouver Island Compassion Society shut its doors after 20 years serving a middle-aged population suffering from chronic illnesses, pain, and anxiety. The threat of heavy fines or seizures of property was too much, and operators say federal and provincial regulations—which prevent REC retailers from associating cannabis with medical care, and require sealed packages—make it difficult to provide the same kind of services to patients as they did.
- The VICS was wise not to expect mercy from the BC government’s Community Safety Unit because it only served a medical market. Shortly after the VICS closed, the CSU raided that Kamloops’s Canadian Safe Cannabis Services compassion club.
- MED patients were irate. Activist Dana Larsen said, “Many people rely on [compassion clubs] to access cannabis medicines. Medical cannabis access is still a serious problem for patients.”
The Toronto Star editorial board said the Ontario government and others have botched REC retail, and only have themselves to blame for illicit dispensaries providing access to a product that’s too hard to get legally.
- The more police and municipalities pressure physical dispensaries, the more illicit sellers move their product online.
Quebec is ramping up efforts to raid and arrest illegal growers.
- Sales of dry flower were up 7% across the country in May, with cannabis oil sales up 19%.
- After BC’s Liquor Distribution Branch announced it would not carry clones—and suggested the government allow farm-gate sales—solicitor general Mark Farnworth said the government is considering changing the law to allow LPs to sell clones and seedlings direct to the public.
MJ Biz Daily, Business In Vancouver