Article by Bill Cleverly, Times Colonist
Compassion clubs could be exempted from new city pot shop regulations prohibiting the consumption of cannabis on site.
In a motion to be discussed next week, councillors Marianne Alto, Jeremy Loveday and Charlayne Thornton-Joe are proposing that the new Cannabis-related Business Regulation Bylaw be amended to provide an exemption for on-site cannabis consumption for compassion clubs established before 2009 and that have continuously operated since 2009.
In their motion, the three councillors note that the compassion clubs “have operated without incident for decades, providing non-profit service for Victorians requiring medical cannabis, including the option of consuming cannabis onsite.”
Loveday said the existing bylaw puts an undue hardship on renters who are ill and who can’t smoke medical marijuana in their homes for fear of sanctions, including eviction.
“They need a safe place to do it. That’s one example why having a safe space for people to consume their medicine, if they legitimately need it, makes sense. They shouldn’t be forced out into the street,” Loveday said.
During public hearings into the new regulations, councillors heard from several people who advocated for consumption on site. The city’s new cannabis business regulations went into effect Sept. 23.