New Brunswick

Medical marijuana dispensary owner not worried about police raids

The owner of a new medical marijuana dispensary that opened in Riverview Friday says he's not worried about police raids. The federal government has said legislation to legalize marijuana will be introduced next year, but until then storefront dispensaries are operating in a grey area.

Tasty Budds opened its first New Brunswick dispensary in Riverview Friday

Tasty Budds opened its first New Brunswick medical marijuana dispensary in Riverview Friday. The company already has four locations in Nova Scotia. (David Bartlett/CBC)

The owner of a new medical marijuana dispensary that opened in Riverview Friday says he's not worried about police raiding his business.

The federal government has said legislation to legalize marijuana will be introduced next year, but until then storefront dispensaries are operating in a grey area. 

During an interview with Information Morning Moncton Malachy McMeekin, the owner of Tasty Budds on Coverdale Road, said he's not worried about a police raid, despite raids at some dispensaries in Toronto.

"If you look at where the dispensaries are that got raided, most of them were in the wrong (municipal) zones, and they also were serving people that didn't have a medical license. We're sticking within the guidelines," he said.

But he says there is a clear need for a dispensary in New Brunswick.

"We have four (dispensaries) in Nova Scotia and every day we see people coming from New Brunswick," said McMeekin.

He said the shop will only serve people who are 19 years old and have a valid prescription.

"We don't serve anyone who doesn't have a full medical license from a doctor, and then we verify the prescription and make sure that it is a valid prescription, and then we serve you," McMeekin said.

To verify that the prescription is valid, store staff will call the prescribing doctor.

Storefront dispensary has benefits

McMeekin said a store front operation is more customer friendly than ordering medical marijuana online or over the phone for a number of reasons.

"They can actually get it that day. See, feel, touch what it is. There's no minimum purchase," he said.

According to McMeekin ordering from these other dispensaries means the customer has to have a credit card or they have to pay with a money order, which will add to their cost.

"You've gotta understand, there's people out there, they don't really have the money to do the full order, so they're sort of punching the people that don't have money," said McMeekin.

He also said these dispensaries often require a minimum purchase of 15 to 20 grams before they will waive the shipping fee

And then customers still have to wait for their medical marijuana to arrive at their homes.

Besides marijuana in plant form, McMeekin said Tasty Budds also has some edible marijuana products as well as cannabis oil.

"It's all coming from local producers that are in the grandfather clause, So they've been grandfathered in. They are allowed to grow," he said.

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