Calgary

Calgary's first medical marijuana clinic could open by end of April

420 Clinic was supposed to open in January, now the owner is hoping to open in Calgary by the end of April.

Opening initially delayed because of concerns from Inglewood residents

According to 420 Clinic owner Jeff Mooij, the Inglewood Community Association and the BRZ delayed the opening of Calgary's first medical marijuana clinic. (Kalissa Bellefeuille)

The first clinic in Alberta intended to help patients navigate around the federal rules for medical marijuana could open in Inglewood by the end of April.

420 Clinic will be located in the basement of the Swans of Inglewood pub on Ninth Ave. S.E. Although the clinic will be working with a few family doctors in Calgary, owner Jeff Mooiji says it will not be prescribing or selling medical marijuana. 

"The way Health Canada has it set up with licensed [medical marijuana] producers right now, they're not allowed to talk about their product. So there are certain producers throughout Canada that are specializing in growing certain strains to help with certain medical problems, but they then are not allowed to talk about it," said Mooiji.

He's hoping to fill that gap by relaying that information to Albertans through consultations at 420 Clinic.

Mooiji says people will also be able to come to the clinic to get help putting together the proper documentation to access marijuana for medical purposes.

He admits he will be receiving an education referral fee from medical marijuana producers, but that consultations will be free to patients whose doctor resides in Alberta.

Alberta's first medical marijuana clinic would not sell pot, but give consultations to patients on where to buy the right strain for their medical condition. (iStock)

Mooiji says the store has had push back from residents.

"The word 'marijuana,' it frightens people," Jeff Mooiji told the Calgary Eyeopener on Thursday. 

The Inglewood Community Association filed an appeal against 420 Clinic in December 2014. But Mooiji fought it and on Feb. 19, he won on the condition his store passes the Crime Prevention Through Environment Design Program.

The program, run by the Calgary Police, uses physical design — such as surveillance cameras, good lighting, fences and signs — to reduce opportunities for criminal acts to take place. 

Mooiji, a single dad who lost his home in High River during the 2013 flood, says he's just trying to break into a niche market and help Albertans access the best strain of marijuana for their medical conditions.

"If people can get past that and hear what actually we are then we can move forward, but that's not always easy," he said.

Mooiji says his store will not dispense medical marijuana as long as it's illegal to do so in Canada. The clinic will also have a retail side, selling vaporizers and alternative health products. 

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