Written by Jacquie Miller for Ottawa Sun.
Ottawa police say they have been monitoring the dispensaries since the first one opened in November 2015. They don’t reveal details of “ongoing investigations.”
At city hall, bylaw officials have been given the head-scratching task of figuring out whether or how to regulate dispensaries. There’s no zoning category for the illegal businesses. And while licences are required to operate everything from a dog kennel to a flea market in the city of Ottawa, officials say licensing medical marijuana is the responsibility of Health Canada.
But Health Canada does not check the quality and safety of dispensary products because they aren’t part of the legal system for producing and selling medical marijuana in Canada.
So who’s overseeing the eight pot shops that have opened in town? Well, one regulator has sprung into action.An inspector from Ottawa Public Health marched into the Weeds Glass & Gifts marijuana store on Montreal Road in May after receiving a complaint that food was being sold there.
The inspector whipped out a thermometer and checked the temperature of the refrigerated case (4 C) and freezer (-18 C) that held the medicated ginger molasses cookies, “double-dose Nanaimo bars” and brownies. The temperatures were appropriate. The inspector checked labels on products and confirmed that nothing was prepared at the store, said Weeds manager Nick Dumond. He proudly reports that Weeds is in full compliance with all food safety regulations.