Article by Mike O, Cannabis Life Network
There’s been a lot of news in Vancouver’s local cannabis scene lately, what with the Community Safety Unit hard at work raiding long-running dispensaries like The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary (TMCD) on Thurlow.
That particular raid on Oct. 30 led to outrage and backlash, as it was seen by many as a step backwards and actually harmful to the community that the authorities claim to be protecting as those who depend on having reliable and affordable access to their medicine were left with few options.
This was despite TMCD actually going through the proper channels and being in the process of transitioning to the legal system- they were even halfway there, having already received their municipal license to operate. But that wasn’t enough for the Community Safety Unit, the provincial task force whose sole objective is enforcing BC’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA), who raided TMCD because they don’t have their provincial license yet.
“We were told by Vancouver and provincial authorities that as long as we complied with city bylaws and were in the process of obtaining a provincial permit that we could continue serving our community as we have been.”
You could argue that staying open post-legalization meant that TMCD was breaking the law, or at least still had one foot firmly planted in the grey market. While there is a point there about following the law to the letter, it would have abandoned all the patients that depend on them, as TMCD provides many medicinal products that are just not available in the legal system.
But what about the dozens of black market dispensaries in Vancouver that voluntarily shut down the day cannabis was legalized on Oct. 17, 2018, in the hopes of getting licensed? If you’re wondering what happened to them, the sad reality is that many of them never reopened.