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Vernon medical marijuana dispensary wants to work with city hall

Vernon medical marijuana dispensary wants to work with city hall

VERNON, B.C. – The president of a Vernon medical marijuana dispensary is looking to lower levels of government to regulate his industry.

Jeff Gaudette presented to Vernon city council Monday in hopes of working with the municipality on marijuana issues. He told councillors Monday that dispensaries should be viewed as solutions not problems and says they want to work with city hall.

“We want to make sure that we meet bylaw requirements and also work with bylaw to reduce the cost associated with monitoring such businesses in your city,” he told council.

As the federal government continues to look at legalization, Gaudette is looking for regulations that standardize the industry “so that a patient can walk into one facility and expect the same or somewhat the same experience at another location whether it be in Vancouver, Victoria or Vernon.”

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Gaudette imagines regulations would cover things like security, dispensing methods and prescriptions.

Vernon medical marijuana dispensaries organized a demonstration in December and have made headlines since they received a warning from the RCMP late last year. The city’s top cop was in the audience to hear Gaudette speak.

“It was an interesting, very short, interesting presentation,” says RCMP Supt. Jim McNamara. “We just came over to see what they were going to present to council and we’ve seen it.”

Last year, the police message to dispensaries was: if you are selling pot, you’re breaking the law. However, McNamara would not say if police are planning any further action.

“We did visit all five dispensaries just to make sure that they are aware of the present laws in place right now and we don’t discuss ongoing investigations so I won’t be saying anything more about any future actions that we may take,” says McNamara.

Vernon’s mayor Akbal Mund says the matter is a federal issue and at this point the city has no plans to regulate dispensaries.

“I think all they wanted to do is present to council that they are normal people and they are not trying to go out of their way to break any laws, but want us to know that there are people within our community who do require medicinal marijuana for health purposes.”

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Gaudette hopes to have further discussions with city councillors about the issue.