The Langley Medical Marijuana Dispensary is back, providing pot for people with Health Canada permission to use it.
The doors opened Sept. 19, with dispensing resuming today.
The dispensary in the 20200 block of Fraser Highway was raided July 19, about 11 months after it opened.
Various strains of marijuana and baked goods containing marijuana were seized by the RCMP.
“Still to this day there haven’t been any charges,” noted Randy Caine, the Langley man who owns the dispensary.
Since the raid, the dispensary has been open to provide people with advice and assistance, although with only one staffer. A handful of other staff have been unemployed in the two months since the raid.
Randy said feedback from members since the raid was that many could not afford to go to Vancouver or other places to obtain their medical marijuana, or they couldn’t travel for health reasons.
“We do know many who had to return to the parks [and drug dealers],” he said.
Supporters of the dispensary collected more than 1,100 signatures on a petition. Caine said the petition booth was put at places such as Langley Mall and McBurney Lane.
No one from the police or Crown have contacted him since the raid.
“I would love to have a day where I could stand in front of a judge,” he told the Langley Advance.
Since the raid, the dispensary has cleared out inactive memberships and will be issuing new cards for members.
Caine and others involved in compassion clubs and dispensaries recently met with Health Canada which has been holding such meetings across the country. Health Canada administers the medical marijuana program which was brought in more than a decade ago.
Caine added he’s pleased that Health Canada is now recognizing the need for more marijuana strains to be available. People who ordered their pot from Health Canada only had access to a mild strain.
Caine’s dispensary had various strains, useful for different ailments.
The federal officials spoke about dispensaries being a model for distribution.
“There was some discussions about pilot projects,” Caine added.
He is licensed to provide pot to two people, but had about 150 active members at the dispensary when it was raided.
Caine maintained that he followed court rulings on distribution and other issues, even if the laws haven’t been changed to reflect the court decisions.
At the meeting, he asked Health Canada how he and others are supposed to resolve the discrepancies between drug law, Health Canada rules, and medical needs.
“They weren’t sure how they could handle something like this,” he told the Advance.
While there have been a few people who grumbled while passing the petition booth, no one has voiced opposition to the people gathering signatures or to the dispensary office itself, he said. The dispensary is being reopened because of the strong support that the community has shown, Caine said.
– Article originally from The Vancouver Sun.