Calling Canada’s medical marijuana laws too restrictive, a Saskatoon man hopes to bend the ear of city officials to get them to make private dispensaries legal.
Saskatoon Compassion Club owner Mark Hauk has his shop on Second Avenue in Saskatoon ready to open, and starting Monday he will open the doors and provide consulting services to those in need of medical marijuana.
“A non-profit group doesn’t require a business licence, so you just need to register with the city. So when we went to register the business this week I learned if there is a retail element to the non-profit that portion requires a business licence,” Hauk said.
Hoping for a Friday opening, Hauk said finishing touches on the renovations to the office location weren’t quite complete, forcing him to push the opening date to Monday, the same day he’s expected to speak before a city committee.
“As it stand today, they couldn’t issue a business license for the retail side of our group, but we will be looking to the planning and development committee for advice following our meeting on Monday as to whether they want to take the steps that Vancouver and Victoria are taking; creating a whole new class of business licence for these dispensaries,” Hauk said, adding he doesn’t need a business licence for the rest of the operation which is helping patients access medical approval.
While Hauk doesn’t expect the committee to hand him a business licence next week, he hopes to get the conversation started about legalizing medical marijuana dispensaries in Saskatoon.
“I don’t envy the City of Saskatoon that’s faced with regulating something that’s contravening federal law — but the reality is, we have an unreasonable restrictive program,” Hauk said, referencing the federal program and the restrictions in Saskatchewan set by the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
“The regulations state that for doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to a patient they must be the primary treating physician … So what it means is you’re forbidden from seeking a second opinion.”
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