AP archive photo/Ed Andrieski A marijuana plant leaf is seen in this file photo.

As they brace for new federal regulations barring residential marijuana grows, Calgary police are aiming to snuff out any talk of establishing dispensaries locally.

A letter to Health Canada dated Jan. 28 and obtained by Metro indicates that while police support the move away from home grow operations – members have long suggested they can pose a public safety risk if improperly managed — they want to see tight regulations that would only allow the drug to be provided in the same manner as other pharmaceuticals.

“Since the government is proposing to treat medical marihuana like any other legally prescribed narcotic, we would recommend that the sale of this drug be restricted to pharmacies and hospitals as with any other regulated drug,” the letter states.

Health Canada has launched a public consultation on new regulations for medical marijuana growing and appears primed to move towards a commercial market that would provide the drug only to licensed users.

But Calgary deputy police chief Murray Stooke said the service’s recommendation would simply “normalize the process,” allowing for better management and enforcement against violators.

“People with prescriptions can already obtain it (marijuana) through that (pharmacy) channel,” he noted.

But Keith Fagin with Calgary 420 Cannabis Community said dispensaries better serve marijuana users because they often feature numerous strains of the drug and products containing it — baked goods, butters and other items.

“These guys know their stuff, they live it, breathe it — it’s their life,” he said of dispensary operators. “It’s a much more friendly atmosphere. These are like-minded people, they understand.”

Background

  • Marijuana dispensaries already operate in B.C., Ontario and Quebec.
  • According to the from Calgary police, the City of Calgary has already been approached by contractors looking to obtain permits and support for the construction of medicinal marijuana grows.
  • If police recommendations were accepted, the commercial grows would still operate legally but only be allowed to provide their product to pharmacies and hospitals

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