The founder of a Saskatoon-based compassion club hopes to bend the ear of city council to get them to look at medical marijuana dispensary regulations.
Mark Hauk submitted a letter to Saskatoon city council requesting to speak at their Aug. 20 meeting to try and get officials to see marijuana as medicine rather than a street drug.
“What I’d like to ask of city council is that they consider implementing medical marijuana dispensary regulations similar to what Vancouver and Victoria have recently done,” Hauk told News Talk Radio.
Hauk said it’s important local governments tackle the issue of regulating dispensaries before they start popping up haphazardly all over the city.
He said the main concern people have with community-based medical marijuana dispensaries are their proximity to schools and children, and the involvement of organized crime.
Following what Vancouver and Victoria have done, Hauk said Saskatoon can introduce similar regulations.
“No dispensary within 300m of a school, and of course organized crime is a concern, but we need to have criminal record checks for people running these dispensaries to make sure not just anybody is,” Hauk said.
The regulation may also help garner more interest into setting up local dispensaries in Saskatoon and shift the control away from the federal government, who in Hauk’s opinion, has done nothing but put up barriers for people who desperately need medical marijuana.
“It’s fairly sad that people who have legitimate medical needs, for the most part, are suffering terribly whether if it’s chronic pain or terminally ill people, and they are struggling to access a legal supply of medical marijuana,” Hauk said, adding the majority of calls he fields in a day come from people in the 50s and 60s looking for cannabidiol oils, not the average recreational marijuana user looking to smoke up.
“We have an incredible demand for (cannabidiol) CBD medicines and it would be surprising to most people who believe our clients are from the recreational market,” Hauk said. “They would be floored to hear how many phone calls I get that are people who are looking for medicine and who don’t want to get high; it’s overwhelming.”
Hauk said he reached out to individual city councillors about dispensary regulations adding he was told a formal presentation to council would be the best course of action.
With files from NewsTalk’s Bryn Levy
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