Marijuana Dispensaries in Nanaimo Ask City to Help Draft Guidelines

Article by Tamara Cunningham, Nanaimo News Bulletin

Nanaimo Cannabis Coalition is calling for community town halls on the issue of marijuana and for a good neighbour agreement between the city and local marijuana dispensaries. (The News Bulletin) Nanaimo Cannabis Coalition is calling for community town halls on the issue of marijuana legalization and regulation, as well as a good neighbour agreement.

Nanaimo marijuana dispensaries want a good neighbour agreement with the City of Nanaimo that would cap their numbers and distance dispensaries from schools and daycares.

The Nanaimo Cannabis Coalition, representing local marijuana dispensaries, called on council during Monday’s committee of the whole meeting to hold town hall meetings around legalization and regulation, as well as to support recommendations to lay out guidelines, help it self-regulate better and prevent dispensaries from opening next to daycares.

Matthew O’Donnell, coalition spokesman, said Nanaimo is looked upon in the industry as a “wild west environment.” It’s unregulated and experiencing an influx of dispensaries from outside Vancouver Island. A month ago a dispensary opened next door to a daycare centre, which made them decide action needs to happen, he said.

Nanaimo has not made an attempt to regulate dispensaries like Victoria or Vancouver.

According to O’Donnell, the coalition isn’t looking for a bylaw, but wants its proposal looked at as a good neighbour agreement between dispensaries. It asked for a council motion requesting dispensaries adhere to guidelines which include a ban on operating within 150 metres or directly adjacent to schools and daycares; installing charcoal air filtration systems to eliminate odours; and capping dispensaries until the city begins a business licence process.

Recommendations for signage and a ban of on-site consumption of cannabis, except for two lounges that already operate in Nanaimo, were also suggested.

Read full article here.

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