A little cannabis butter in your coffee today?
It seems to be the flavour of the week as Town council reluctantly dips its toes into the marijuana pool. But it will have to dive in sooner or later.
Council had decided to wait until the feds announced the rules about medical marijuana before enacting its own regulations. Probably a wise move.
In the meantime, other municipalities such as Osoyoos have already amended their bylaws to prohibit dispensaries.
New regulations announced by Health Canada last week continue to reiterate that these dispensaries are illegal. Yet many are still in operation, however, their days are likely numbered.
Under the new regulations, people who have been authorized by their health care practitioner to use cannabis for medical purposes will be able to produce a limited amount for themselves, or designate someone to produce it for them. They will also be able to purchase cannabis from a licenced producer approved by Health Canada.
Oliver’s business licence bylaw prohibits any operation that contravenes federal rules, so one could argue that the likelihood of dispensaries popping up in Oliver will be low. But the new regulations may be massaged to allow strictly controlled dispensaries in the long run. (Health Canada says existing dispensaries are illegally supplied and their products are unregulated.)
But what about storefronts like Cannabliss Java and Tea in Oliver? The proprietor is not selling marijuana, but on request, he melts cannabis butter into your coffee, which no doubt goes down smooth.
But some people will argue that what he’s doing is illegal, yet a stone’s throw away you can buy alcohol that poisons your body or tobacco that can shorten you life courtesy of cancer. And it’s legal to sell these killer products. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.
But now that Town council has its answer from the federal government, it can proceed to fashion its own rules and bylaws governing medical marijuana retailers. Or it may choose to prohibit them altogether.
While it may be easier to just ban the sale of medical marijuana, there is growing proof that cannabis can be used as an effective therapy for a variety of ills, such as chronic pain, muscle spasms and epilepsy. But like any drug, there are also health risks.
On the criminal side, marijuana is reportedly the most trafficked drug in the world. In Canada alone, the illegal trade of marijuana reaps an estimated $7 billion in income every year for organized crime. With returns like this, it’s no wonder why some people change careers.