Ottawa councillor says marijuana won't be sold in current dispensaries

Coun. Mathieu Fleury says delay in legal framework frustrating
Marijuana
Product on display at the Cannabis Culture location on Bank Street. The dispensary opened Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Haley Ritchie)

Ottawa city councillor Mathieu Fleury said he’s frustrated by news that it could be another 15 months before there is a legal framework for marijuana sales.

Reports surfaced this week that the federal government intends to have marijuana legislation in place by July 1, 2018.

Fleury has said previously that the dispensaries operating in Ottawa now won’t be the way marijuana is sold legally, and he is frustrated about the resources they’re consuming now.

He said this news is just a continuation of that problem.

“It feels like we have been in that grey area for over a year now, so its frustrating but there are no new pressure points,” he said.  

He said if the government waits until 2018 it won’t change anything for the dispensaries, which are — and, he believes, will remain — illegal

“It’s a reminder that buying marijuana within those dispensaries is the same as buying marijuana off the street,” he said.

Fleury said when the time comes he hopes the city will regulate locations for marijuana dispensaries and have them in regulated stores.  

“We prefer having a model like the LCBO, understanding it won’t be in the LCBO,” he said.

An independent panel reviewing marijuana legislation concluded that it should not be sold in places where alcohol is sold.

“The product will be sold as a controlled substance just like it is for alcohol,” said Fleury.

He said police have begun to warn landlord of dispensaries that they can’t just look the other way and he hopes the dispensaries will find it more difficult to operate.

This article originally appeared in Metro News.