Ottawa: Players Speak Out on Pot Legalization Report

Article by Jacquie Miller, Ottawa Citizen

Pot smokers, dispensary owners and cannabis industry executives reacted Tuesday to the federal government task force recommendations on how Canada should go about legalizing recreational marijuana.

The dispensary manager: stores should be here to stay

Kristina Simpson’s hands fly up to her face in shock when she’s informed the task force has come out in favour of marijuana storefronts. “Oh my gosh!” says the manager of Weeds Glass & Gifts dispensary on Bank Street. “I’m so happy!” She had braced herself for a more restrictive approach. The task force said storefronts with “well-trained, knowledgeable staff” should have a place, although the provinces would be left to decide how and where marijuana is sold.

Weeds caters to medical marijuana patients, but the chain’s owner, Don Briere, says he set up stores across the country in anticipation of selling to recreational users.

The display cases at Weeds are filled with jars of dried bud as well as cannabis oil and honey, brownies, cookies, candy and chocolates wrapped in brightly coloured foil. The task force says “edible” cannabis products should be allowed, but nothing that appeals to children, such as things packaged to look like candy, in bright colours, or with cartoon characters. It also said edibles should have a standard maximum amount of THC per serving, carry warning labels and be in opaque, child-resistant packaging.

“That all makes total sense,” says Simpson.

She disagrees, however, with recommendation of setting a minimum age to purchase pot at 18. (The provinces would have the right to make it higher to harmonize with age limits for alcohol and tobacco purchases.) Simpson said 21 would be more reasonable, which is the age suggested by some health authorities because of concerns about the effects of cannabis on developing brains.

Read full article here.

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