The owner of a Kimberley medical marijuana dispensary says BC’s first rules around legal cannabis only address recreational use.
Tamarack Dispensaries’ Tamara Duggan says she’s concerned operations like hers weren’t included in the provincial government’s announcement Tuesday.
Duggan suggests medicinal marijuana has been overlooked during the entire legalization process so far.
She feels facilities like hers are falling through the cracks, as it seems government’s current focus isn’t on how the medical product is distributed to patients.
So for now, it’s business as usual for Duggan.
She goes on to say she does hopes a higher tax is put on recreational pot than is imposed on medicinal marijuana.
The local dispensary owner is also expressing concern about the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LBD) being named the Province’s wholesale provider of non-medical cannabis.
She believes this implies Victoria wants to employ the large scale licensed producers, which could hurt smaller growers.
Smaller growers haven’t been excluded Duggan points out, but so far there isn’t an indication they will directly be included in legalization framework.
There are numerous concerns surround the decision to give the LDB such a prominent role in the marijuana industry according to Duggan.
Ultimately, she see’s the potential for hijinks in supply chain management.
The Province says it will establish a retail model that includes both public and private opportunities, but Duggan argues if the LDB controls distribution it could lead to public facilities getting access to better product.
A public – private model is likely good news for operations like Duggan’s as the Province of Ontario has indicated dispensaries will be solely operated by the government and any existing dispensaries will be closed.
On top of that, she asserts people in and outside of the marijuana industry do not want marijuana sold in the same stores as alcohol but with the Liquor Distribution Branch so heavily involved it looks like that will be the case.
Duggan did say, her first reaction to Tuesday’s news was how pleased she was the BC Government set the minimum age to purchase weed at 19.
The BC Government says it made its decisions based on input from nearly 49,000 British Columbians, 141 local and Indigenous governments, and a range of other stakeholders.
– Tamarack Dispensaries Owner Tamara Duggan