Medical Marijuana Delivery Service on Vancouver Island

The owner of a medical marijuana compassionate club launched in Oceanside this week claims he is providing a much-needed service to the community.

Bob Estes, a medical marijuana user, opened The Organic Matters Compassionate Access Centre in Errington on Tuesday.

The Fair Road store sells a variety of organic pot, at $7 per gram, to licensed medical marijuana users.

It also offers cannabis cookies, chocolate, tincture (a cannabis-infused alcoholic drink) and cannabis compresses. Cannabis creams and salves are on the way.

Activites that go on at some cannabis compassion clubs are illegal but authorities have turned a blind eye to similar clubs in the past. Some advocates say this happens in part because medical marijuana use is legal. Oceanside RCMP officials were not available for comment yesterday but Estes said he has yet to be visited by local police officers.

Estes says the need for access to organic marijuana is there, especially with the compromised immune systems of sick people. He buys his pot from a network of organic-growers and said several sales have been made already. Health Canada grows one type of cannabis for registered medical marijuana users but its program has been plagued with problems from the start, including reports of contamination and low potency.

Estes says he will not sell marijuana to anyone who is not licensed with Health Canada.

Estes, a married father of two young children, at one time used to home-deliver from a service run out of his house but says he is less nervous about his public store.

He says he will continue to operate even if police shut him down.

“(Medical marijuana use) is not something that should be shady. I feel the community has asked me to be here,” said Estes on Friday. “I’m not trying to hide anything. I don’t believe that at this point in humankind, that I’m going to go to jail for this.”

Organic Matters Compassionate Access Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday from noon until 6 p.m.

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Medical marijuana service returns

by Auren Ruvinsky

A medical marijuana compassion club was shut down in Oceanside a few years ago but Bob Estes believes the area is ready for the service now.

It is legal for people with a Health Canada license or doctor’s note to use medical marijuana in Canada, but it is not technically legal for people to buy or sell it.

There are only three legal ways for people to get the medical help they are legally allowed to have — grow their own, have someone grow it for them or buy it from Health Canada.

Estes pulled out a small vacuum pack of the Health Canada product, which he called “toxic waste” full of chemicals and mold. He also said the fact they only have one type is unhelpful to users who often need to try many varieties to find the one that works for them.

He opened the Organic Matter Compassionate Access Centre in Errington on Tuesday to give people access to a variety of quality, organic medical marijuana.

He pointed out not everyone that needs it knows how, or is physically able to grow marijuana, and they may not know any qualified growers.

“Compassion clubs are a real necessity if we’re going to allow people to get the medication they need,” he said, adding medical marijuana is used by people suffering with a wide range of pain and illnesses.

“Pretty much anything you can take pharmaceuticals for,” he said, chuckling that he hopes the big pharmaceutical companies don’t come after him for saying that.

Estes stressed all the products they sell including pot, cookies, chocolate and tinctures, are 100 per cent organic from a network of contracted organic growers he has developed.

“I went that way because when the human immune system is already compromised, they shouldn’t be putting more toxins into their body.”

He said he sells it at about the same price as street level because he wants it to be available to those who need it and to help guard against people getting a hold of his product and re-selling it on the street.

Estes, who has “self-medicated” with marijuana since he was run over as a teenager, and has been licensed by Health Canada for six years, said, “it is the only way for a lot of people to alleviate the pain. It’s not a matter of choice, its a matter of, do I want to survive and function in daily life.”

Estes is on the B.C. business registry, the only thing required to run a business in the Regional District of Nanaimo, and he is optimistic about his relationship with police.

“The RCMP in Nanaimo and Alberni are fully aware of me,” he said explaining they threatened to bust him in the past for his home delivery service, but he said he hasn’t been busted since he was 15 and was first trying it as a medicine after standard pain medications weren’t helping.

“The Island is really ready for this,” he said, adding there are a couple long-time clubs in Victoria and maybe a couple others on the rest of the Island but he believes the numbers will increase in the next few years.

“I perpetually hear about the need from the community, there are so many people who need it,” he said, adding nobody knows for sure how many medical marijuana users there are, but his best guess is that he might end up with 1,000 members from the mid-Island.

He said he has had a lot of support in opening the new business and “not one person has said anything negative,” though it did take him a while to find a location that would allow him to conduct the business.

Though there are no legal or Health Canada guidelines on how to operate a medical marijuana business, Estes is following the example of long-running clubs with protocols such as not allowing smoking on the premises, hoping that will avoid causing complaints — which is the most common way clubs get busted.

He will only sell to people with Health Canada licenses or people who fill out the forms to join the club, including a doctor’s statement portion.

The paperwork can be filled out by a variety of health care workers including doctors, naturopaths and chiropractors, though Estes encourages people to go through Health Canada to get the actual picture ID — the most formal permission people can get to possess the substance.

Asked about the Mid-Island Compassion Club which operated in Coombs for about five years and was shut down by the RCMP, Estes said “compassion clubs are a lot more legal these days than they where back then.”

He said clubs across the country have proven over and over in court that medical marijuana is legal.

“I’m just doing what Health Canada is failing to do.”

The Organic Matters Centre is at #4 – 1260 Fair Road, Errington, open noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Call 250-586-0420 for more information.

– Article from BCLocalNews.

Comments

7 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    If people wanted mail order weed, they’d get it from “BB” or another private mail order weed site. They’d have the same wait, or less, and they’d know it was actually good quality. Canadians don’t need another mail order weed company, run by the government, they need on-site supply. Anything else is justice denied.

  2. Anonymous on

    Is mail order drugs with a several week wait making Cannabis available? I don’t think so. “Available” usually means being able to get something the same day you need it and same with “supply”. Does California have mail order med weed? Then why the hell does Canada? Get real, Harper. The longer they fail to make Cannabis really available, the longer Cannabis prohibition will be without force or effect. Possibly a good thing for many but not so great for the people who need weed TODAY and don’t have a reliable supplier.

  3. Anonymous on

    Since Canada hasn’t made it a law yet that Cannabis must be provided by the government to qualified patients, so far it’s just a policy not a law, Cannabis prohibition must still be without force or effect. It was ordered by the courts and hasn’t been carried out yet.

    Also, why should Cannabis using patients have to send off in the mail for their meds? Does anybody with any other prescription have to do that? No. They should be required to either have “stores” in all major cities or to licence them. What if a person needed medicine urgently? Two or three weeks wait just doesn’t cut it when you’re in the middle of a seizure.

  4. Bob Estes on

    Hello everybody! This is Bob from Organic Matters Compassionate Access Centre on Vancouver Island. First of all I want to express my disbelief of Marc Emery being sent to the US. May 10,2010 is a sad day for Canadians. My heart goes out to Marc and Jodie. Secondly, I wanted to clarify that to become a member, one needs to be licensed by Health Canada OR have an Organic Matters application form filled out, which includes a doctor’s statement. We also can accept members of the established clubs that also require doctor involvement, after verification. Also, we do NOT do deliveries anymore. Thanks and good health to all!!

  5. Anonymous on

    They should at least make it ok for members of already established clubs to buy there and become members, too. VICS members for example.

  6. grow marijuana indoors on

    It is good that we have marijuana growers available in the cities. This way people who is need of this marijuana medication will find it convenient.

  7. Anonymous on

    $7 a gram sounds reasonable. Looks like this dispensary is a valuable addition to the neighborhood. I don’t know how any of them can get enough exemptees to run a business though. They must be accepting letters from doctors too. The next step is to accept just a written diagnosis from a doctor, without him even knowing that Cannabis is involved. Why should you need his permission? Is he Dr. Daddy? Just gimme the diagnosis and take your $75, Bones, it’s for an insurance claim (weed insurance, heh,heh,heh).