City councillor Melissa De Genova plans to introduce a motion to require dispensaries in Vancouver to carry cannabis grown by federally licensed producers.
‘The majority, if not all, retail stores licensed by the City of Vancouver MMRU [Medical Marijuana Related Use], as well as those open without a license, do not obtain their supply from licensed producers regulated by Health Canada,’ reads the motion on notice posted on the agenda for the next city council meeting (May 15).
‘Currently police information checks are required for the applicant and all staff (including directors and health professionals); however there is no requirement for the applicant to conduct police information checks for suppliers and/or growers,’ it continues.
It goes on to mention recent robberies at Vancouver dispensaries, and warns councillors of the participation of ‘organized crime and/or gangs’ in the city’s pot shops.
‘Allowing organized crime and/or gangs to participate in business in the City of Vancouver could put public safety at risk, and could put strain on police resources,’ it says.
The motion is seconded by NPA councillor Hector Bremner.
It resolves that city council direct staff to require all cannabis-related businesses in Vancouver to provide the city with annual audited financial statements, and that all cannabis businesses licensed by the City of Vancouver ‘obtain marijuana only from licensed producers approved by Health Canada’.
The motion also calls on council to direct staff to work with the Vancouver Police Department, ‘particularly the Major Crime Section’, to focus on deterring organized crime from engaging with dispensaries in the city.
It also suggests that councillors direct staff to ‘share any information on the correlation between marijuana growers and suppliers; and organized crime and gangs with senior levels of government, as they continue to prepare a legal framework for marijuana in Canada.’
De Genova’s husband is a member of the Vancouver Police Department.
If the motion is approved, staff must report back by July 2018 ‘with any findings and recommendations to strengthen requirements in licensing marijuana-related businesses in the interest of public safety’.