Keep pot out of liquor stores says cannabis association. Dispensaries, not liquor stores, are the best outlets to sell recreational pot.

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries argues selling weed and booze under the same roof could have negative consequences.

By: Tereza Verenca Metro Published on Thu Dec 17 2015

Dispensaries, not liquor stores, are the best outlets to sell recreational pot, according to the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries.

The statement comes shortly after B.C.’s and Ontario’s public service unions called for legalized marijuana to be sold in liquor stores. Vancouver’s Jamie Shaw, president of the CAMCD, said having the two substances under the same roof could be dangerous.

“A lot of people are using cannabis to get off of alcohol, so that isn’t a very good message to send. There have been studies that confirm alcohol and cannabis together heighten the effects of both,” she told Metro.

Shaw said it makes sense to use the existing medical marijuana distribution system and not have to “reinvent the wheel.”

“Dispensaries have 20 years of expertise in providing safe and dignified access to medical cannabis along with education on its use,” the statement reads.

Shaw used the United States as an example, specifically Colorado’s legalization, which was built on the pre-existing dispensary model.

The dispensaries within the Canadian association, she noted, are already licenced and regulated to address public health and safety concerns. To ensure pot gets into the hands of those who really need it, Shaw said a thorough, three-year certification process is in place for prospective members and that CAMCD adheres to strict identification checks.

“Dispensaries don’t only check IDs, we check the doctor’s paperwork, and we verify with the doctor that they sent that paper for it. There’s quite a lot of follow up. That’s obviously not all dispensaries in Canada at the moment, but the ones in our association that are for medical patients, definitely have much stricter checks,” she explained.

The federal government is currently consulting with provinces and municipalities on how to best move forward. A timeline has yet to be released.


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