City of Saskatoon advises against regulating marijuana dispensary

Administrators at the City of Saskatoon are advising against regulating marijuana dispensaries.

City administration notes storefront marijuana operations not allowed under federal law

Saskatchewan Compassion Club owner Mark Hauk in front of the Saskatoon Police Station. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

Administrators at the City of Saskatoon are advising against regulating medical marijuana dispensaries.

In August, the Saskatchewan Compassion Club asked city council to regulate dispensaries in Saskatoon. Vancouver city council voted to regulate the over 100 medical marijuana dispensaries in their city this summer. 

The club was asking council to set rules in place around whether dispensaries would be allowed to be placed next to schools, and to monitor who would run the facilities.

However, administrators note that medical marijuana falls under federal jurisdiction, and anyone involved in its distribution must get a federal license.

"A storefront operation is not a permitted method of dispensing medical marijuana under the current regime, regardless of the type of license obtained," reads the report.

Club owner Mark Hauk is disappointed with the report. He's hoping councillors will move forward with regulations.

"I'm hopeful that this isn't the end of the entire process," he said. "I feel that it's important that I be there to speak on Monday, to keep the conversation centred around the issues at hand."

The report goes on to say that the City of Saskatoon will only issue a business license to the dispensary if it receives federal approval.

In October, four people linked to the compassion club were arrested, and face a number of charges, including drug trafficking.

The club's proponents say it's needed, because medical marijuana patients have difficulty accessing Health Canada-approved products.

The issue will be coming to the Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services on Monday. Hauk plans to speak at the meeting.

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