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Owner of marijuana dispensaries makes case at Hamilton City Hall

Hamilton politicians are grappling with the issue of unlicensed medical marijuana operations.
Hamilton politicians are grappling with the issue of unlicensed medical marijuana operations. The Canadian Press

The owner of three illegal medical marijuana dispensaries in Hamilton has pleaded his case.

READ MORE: Majority of charges laid in Canada’s largest marijuana dispensary raid will not go to trial

MMJ Canada’s Clint Younge, who believes they are operating within a “grey” area, is asking city councillors not to pass a motion that would urge a police crackdown of such dispensaries.

He doesn’t think enforcement should be happening during decriminalization since laying down charges that the courts are not adjudicating on is a waste of “resources”, “time” and “money” and adds more “confusion.”

The province recently announced that sales of recreational marijuana will be restricted to LCBO-run stores when it is legalized, but Younge adds that they hope to carve out a craft-exemption within that framework, similar to wineries.

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Stoney Creek councillor Doug Conley is expected to present his motion for increased police enforcement during next week’s city council meeting.

His main concern is that some “illegal” dispensaries are operating within residential and retail areas, one of them next to a popular pizza restaurant in his ward.

READ MORE: Canadians have a long way to go to meet new marijuana use guidelines

Dundas councillor Arlene Vanderbeek adds that elected officials have to consider laws and regulations, as well as community concern and impact.