Press Release: CAMCD announces certification schedule and formal complaint process

CAMCD Press Release June 22 2015

Vancouver, BC, June 22 2015 Today, the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) released their summer inspection schedule for the On-site Survey portions of the CAMCD Certification Program. Beginning in 2011, CAMCD, Canadians for Safe Access, and the University of British Columbia began developing the CAMCD Standards and Certification Program with the generous assistance of a Peter Wall Solutions Initiative grant. The CAMCD Certification Program is a rigorous and thorough accreditation program that required both the development of implementation procedures, and Inspectors trained in those procedures. CAMCD is pleased to announce that this phase is now complete.

On-Site Survey Summer Schedule

July 3 2015 – Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club
July 13 2015 – The Toronto Compassion Club
July 14 2015 – Cannabis as Living Medicine
August 6 2015 – British Columbia Compassion Club Society

CAMCD also announced the launch of its official complaint and enforcement initiative. Starting today a formal process for registering complaints, comments, or concerns regarding CAMCD certification or trade members will be available. “This process is not meant to replace or supersede any complaint apparatus individual dispensaries may have,” said the group’s President Jamie Shaw, “it’s really meant as a way for the public to inform of us of any issues they find they are unable to resolve, or concerns they may have.” CAMCD continues to reserve the right to sanction or revoke the membership or certification of any dispensary that is found to not be in compliance.

CAMCD also reaffirmed its commitment to both dispensaries and stakeholders. “We believe that by working together, we can all create an industry that is focused on patients, and is transparent and accountable to them.” Shaw added.

CAMCD is a non-profit trade association for medical cannabis dispensaries founded in 2011.

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If you would like more information about these topics, please email us at

Press Release: CAMCD Congratulates Vancouver On Vote

Looks forward to public hearing

Vancouver, BC, April 28, 2015– Today, the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries praised Councils 10-1 vote that moved the proposed dispensary regulations to a public hearing. “We’d like to congratulate the City of Vancouver for making this historic and necessary move,” said Jamie Shaw, the group’s President. “We understand the difficulties in trying to strike a balance between all of the various stakeholders and the needs of patients.”

“Vancouver has been a world leader in drug policy and harm reduction strategies for decades, and despite major obstacles, this is another bold step in reaffirming the principles laid out in its Four-Pillar policy”, Shaw said, “we’d like to offer our support in the coming months as we try to make these regulations work for patients, dispensaries, health authorities, and the residents of this great city.”

CAMCD looks forward to including these proposed regulations at our “Setting Roots” Networking Event on April 30, 2015 in Vancouver.

CAMCD is a non-profit trade association for medical cannabis dispensaries founded in 2011. Their Dispensary Certification Program is a rigorous accreditation program developed in part with the support of the UBC SEED Project, and funded by a Peter Wall Solutions Initiative.

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If you would like more information about this topic or the “Setting Roots” Networking Event, please contact Jamie Shaw (CAMCD President) by email at

Press Release: CAMCD On Vancouver Dispensary Regulations

A bold step showing strong leadership

Vancouver, BC, April 27, 2015– The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) would like to commend the City of Vancouver’s licensing and planning divisions for a taking a progressive step forward in recommending the regulation of dispensaries. “We do have some concerns with the regulations, but we look forward to engaging in discussions with council and the citizens of Vancouver,” said CAMCD President Jamie Shaw.

Chief among those concerns is the restriction on edibles. “While the restriction on edible products is a major issue for patients, we understand the city’s difficult position while the Supreme Court is deliberating on this. We look forward to a decision in R v Smith to resolve this.”

Other issues CAMCD has noted is the impact to some communities if certain long-standing dispensaries are forced to abandon them, “We have dispensaries that have been part of the fabric of their community for over a decade, in one case, almost two decades,” said Shaw, “so that also will be an issue we address.”

While much has been made in the media of dispensaries being a Vancouver-only problem, Shaw says the facts just don’t bear that out. Some smaller cities have a greater number of dispensaries per capita than Vancouver has. Victoria for example has an estimated 25 dispensaries, and has announced they may soon be following Vancouver’s lead. “We hope the federal government recognizes that these cities are doing what needed to be done a decade ago, and will not interfere unduly with the action these cities decide on,” Shaw added.

CAMCD is a non-profit trade association for medical cannabis dispensaries founded in 2011. Their Dispensary Certification Program is a rigorous accreditation program developed in part with the support of the UBC SEED Project, and funded by a Peter Wall Solutions Initiative.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Jamie Shaw, President by email at

CAMCD Dispensary Symposium, Vancouver 2014

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) and the Medical Cannabis: Standards, Engagement, Evaluation and Dissemination (SEED) Project are pleased to invite you to the 2014 CAMCD Dispensary Symposium. This is the final symposium in a series over the past 3 years held as part of the SEED Project, which is funded by the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative.

The 2014 CAMCD Dispensary Symposium will take place in downtown Vancouver on December 8th, 2014 10:00 am – 4:00pm at the UBC Robson Square Campus, 800 Robson St., HSBC Hall (C.680).

The Symposium includes a networking lunch, and there is no cost to attend, however you must reserve your spot by December 1st. (Registration is now closed)

Priority at this event will be given to dispensaries and others providing medical cannabis services to patients.

The 2014 CAMCD Dispensary Symposium is geared towards anyone interested in providing high-quality medical cannabis and related services to patients – including current dispensary operators and those planning on opening new dispensaries. It will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about the CAMCD Certification Program and to network with like-minded professionals.

Event speakers will include leaders and experts of the medical cannabis industry.

Kirk Tousaw – Lawyer and social justice advocate
John Conroy – Lawyer
Dana Larsen – Sensible BC
Rielle Capler MHA, SEED Project Co-ordinator
Zach Walsh PhD, UBC, SEED Project Primary Investigator

Look for updates as more speakers are confirmed, please follow developments via the CAMCD website

Dispensaries will have the opportunity to register in the Certification Program at the event.

Please contact us with any questions or comments by e-mail at

Update From SEED Project – Certification Baseline Report

Earlier this month, the Standards, Engagement, Evaluation, and Dissemination(SEED) Project released its report assessing the current practices of dispensaries in the CAMCD Certification Program, and their progress towards fulfilling the Certification Standards. The report, prepared by Rielle Capler, Kim Crosby, and Zach Walsh, is a summary of the data collected during the Baseline Survey, and can be found here:

SEED Baseline Data Summary Report


What about the doctors?

Some of the top stories this week in Canada revolve around whether or not doctors should be prescribing cannabis for medical purposes in this country. The Canadian Medical Journal published two very opposing views on the topic this Monday. Both  CMAJ commentaries quibble over relative harms, burden of proof, and the relative lack of clinical data to support efficacy of cannabis. In all honesty I feel some level of sympathy for doctors grappling with this subject but I propose that this is a red herring argument based on a false dichotomy. The question that needs asking isn’t if they should, but rather who should.

Cannabis is not a fixed pharmacological substance with a clear set of prescription guidelines, unlike modern prescription medications which contain a known amount of active and inactive compounds that are easily quantifiable. Doctors prescribe using well understood pharmacokinetic properties derived from clinical trial data accounting for things like BMI, metabolism, and secondary drug interactions. In all fairness – this data does not exist for the cannabis plant, and likely never will, but not for the reasons we might expect.


Cannabis is not ONE thing, it is many things.

The MMAR and MMPR have effectively granted blanket exemptions for an entire class of compounds – at no point in history have doctors ever been asked to do anything remotely similar. I believe expecting doctors to prescribe cannabis is in many ways analogous to asking them to prescribe poppies and then expecting the patient to figure out if they would like Codeine or muffins. I believe its self evident in this day and age that the relative harms of cannabis are known, and decidedly few or benign; concerns about jamming a whole plant species into a fixed compound model is where we are stuck.

So then what’s the big deal?

Health Canada has clearly stated it would like to treat cannabis just like any other “narcotic”, and yet, they refuse to apply the same processes used to support every other prescription drug. Why? Because you can’t. Cannabis is a plant – despite their wishes to the contrary it just doesn’t fit. Maybe its time we stop asking our doctors to prescribe a plant, and talk to our nutritionists.


Health Canada can’t have their muffins and opiates too.


Originally Published at the CannabisDigest