City of Saskatoon takes hands off approach to medical marijuana dispensaries

Saskatoon's city council is standing by a committee decision not to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, as it receives a letter from the owner of the Saskatchewan Compassion Club.

Saskatchewan Compassion Club’s Mark Hauk says the city should reconsider dispensaries

Compassion club owner Mark Hauk submitted a letter to city council asking that it reconsider a committee's decision on marijuana dispensary regulations. (Devin Heroux/CBC News)

Saskatoon's city council is standing by a committee decision not to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, despite receiving a cautionary letter from the owner of the Saskatchewan Compassion Club.

On Feb. 8, the Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services voted against issuing business licences to marijuana dispensaries.

Administration argued that medical marijuana falls under federal jurisdiction, and anyone involved with it must get a federal licence.

It also pointed to the city's own bylaw's which state that before a business licence can ge granted, the applicant must have the necessary federal and provincial approvals. 

Today, council  received a letter from Saskatchewan Compassion Club owner Mark Hauk in response to the administration's recommendations on dispensaries. Hauk had planned to appear in person but was unable to "due to some unfortunate circumstances," the letter states.

In the letter, Hauk pointed to a recent Federal Court ruling which struck down federal regulations restricting the rights of medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis. The decision also gave the Liberal government six months to come up with new rules.

Hauk said the city should reconsider because the federal regulations have "yet again been found unconstitutional" and in six months "will fully be 'no force and effect' in this country."

However, council accepted the administration's report. 

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