testing bc marijuana camcd

Cannabis Dispensaries to Set Up Their Own Testing System

Blocked from the federal medical marijuana testing system, dispensaries are creating their own


VANCOUVER— The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) is moving to set up testing standards and protocols to ensure the safety of the cannabis member dispensaries are selling.

Association President Jeremy Jacob says, “We believe consumers should be empowered to make educated choices about the cannabis products they buy, so we are moving to set up a rigorous, independent and transparent cannabis testing system.”

CAMCD promotes a regulated community-based approach to cannabis access with member dispensaries across Canada serving over 150,000 consumers.

Store front cannabis dispensaries are not allowed to test their product through federally licensed laboratories. Jacob says CAMCD is setting up its own testing standards after federally licensed medical marijuana producers recalled cannabis contaminated with the chemicals bifenazate and myclobutanil in November and December 2016, and were slow to inform the public.

“Dispensary clients need to know the product is free of contaminants. Consumers should be able to see testing results,” says Jacob. “Some of our member dispensaries are already testing their product privately, but we need a system where all are able to test their product, the labs are independent, and the consumer can rely on the results.”

The CAMCD board has created a working group with dispensary owners, cannabis producers, processors, and lab owners, to create guidelines and structure for the testing program. The board wants the system to be in place by May 2017.


Association President Jeremy Jacob will be available for questions today at 4:30 PST

Media Contact:
Michael Davis 604.704.7526
or 604.553.0609

anne McLellan taskforce legalization cannabis

CAMCD Response To Task Force Report: Cannabis Legalization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  December 13, 2016

CANADIAN Dispensary Advocates Reply To Task Force Report

Today the Federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation released their full report (A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada). The Task Force consulted with the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) to gain an understanding of how Canadian dispensaries serve public needs and the importance of a community dispensing model.  CAMCD’s Position Paper on Legalization was also submitted to the Task Force to encourage inclusion of dedicated storefront retail sales.  task force report legalization cannabis

“Today we applaud the Task Force for the acknowledgement of dedicated retail dispensaries as a viable distribution channel separate from alcohol sales.  This should apply to medical use as well as recreational use,” said CAMCD’s President, Jeremy Jacob. CAMCD represents dispensaries across Canada committed to best practices and working with all levels of government to incorporate dispensaries into the legal regulatory frameworks meeting patient and other consumer needs.

Dispensaries have existed in Canada for 20 years; serving patients, creating safe community access, sharing knowledge and expertise, contributing to research, and providing thousands of jobs.  According to Jacob, “Dispensaries have paved the way for legalization through their hard work and dedication and are looking forward to participating in a legal, regulated marketplace they helped create.”

CAMCD is also pleased to hear the Task Force’s recommendation for an inclusive network of producers of all sizes, particularly the craft producers who form an important part of the cannabis supply chain today.  “Including as many suppliers as possible is the best way to undermine the black market and ensure a vast diversity of quality products for the consumer”, stated Jacob.

Jacob is cautious, however, about the Task Force recommendation for a provincial wholesale monopoly. “If we have learned anything from provincial alcohol distribution it’s that government monopolies are a sure way to increase prices and limit product variety. CAMCD does not believe government wholesaling of cannabis is a viable course for legalization,” stated Jacob.

CAMCD looks forward to working with the provincial government on regulations for dedicated retail sales.  “We encourage the provincial governments to review CAMCD’s Dispensary Certification Standards as a model for provincial regulation of retail dispensing and welcome further collaboration with them to this end.  CAMCD also looks forward to working with provincial governments across Canada to establish comprehensive training programs for retail cannabis workers.”

For media inquiries contact:

Ehren Richardson

(604) 318-5152


Jeremy Jacob

(778) 378-6008


jane philpott legalization task force CAMCD

CAMCD Submits Legalization Taskforce Position Paper

Canadian Federal Task Force Marijuana

Vancouver BC – CAMCD submitted its official response to the Canadian Federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization.  The following documents represent the submission.

CAMCD was invited to participate in private, round table discussions with the Federal Task Force in Vancouver, BC.  Details of the meeting are available to CAMCD members and will be discussed at the next CAMCD trade member meeting.


CAMCD Legalization Taskforce Submission Aug 2016.FINAL

Appendix 5 – CAMCD_Required-Organizational-Practices

Appendix 4 – CAMCD comments on MMPR

Appendix 3 – Inclusion of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in the Regulatory Framework

Appendix 2 – Second-Edition-CAMCD-Standards

Appendix 1 – Camps – Barriers To Access


Press Release – CAMCD Comments On Recreational Sales

Vancouver BC – The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) is responding to the recent announcement by some dispensaries that they no longer require medical documentation when selling cannabis and cannabis products to the public.


“Some dispensary owners have taken what some see as a progressive step in selling cannabis and cannabis products for elective use, but this is not in line with current CAMCD practices. We will work with our members to develop and adapt to the changing cannabis industry environment in Canada, but for now, non-medical sales directly violate our carefully constructed Required Operating Practices,” said CAMCD President Dieter MacPherson.


“Not all dispensaries in Vancouver are CAMCD members, but we require our member dispensaries specifically to obtain documentation from health care practitioners. CAMCD wants to make sure that the public knows that these requirements are still in place, and that CAMCD doesn’t currently support non-medical sales until such time that we have consulted with stakeholders on how best to implement them. Until then, we ask our membership to continue to sell only to medical patients that provide medical documentation,” added MacPherson


“CAMCD’s work with local governments to develop and modify regulations that allow patients to access their medicine in a safe and secure environment, has been to the benefit of patients, retailers, and the public alike. Our team is certainly prepared to work with all dispensaries, Municipalities and Provinces moving forward,” said MacPherson.


About CAMCD:

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries was founded in 2010 and has worked with dispensaries, patients, university-based researchers, public health officials, governments and nonprofits to develop its patient-focused approach to cannabis distribution.



For media inquiries or questions please contact:

Dieter MacPherson

CAMCD President

250-888-0542  dieter@camcd.ca

CAMCD Press ReleaseJuly 22 2016

Toronto police raid dispensaries cannabis

Press Release – CAMCD Calls On City Of Toronto To Halt Raids

CAMCD calls on city of Toronto to halt raids

Vancouver BC -The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) is standing up for thousands of patients by calling on the City of Toronto to immediately halt the raids on medical cannabis dispensaries.

“Dispensaries provide a critical point of access for thousands of patients struggling to obtain medical cannabis under Canada’s Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).

Yesterday’s police raids on dozens of dispensaries simply created more barriers to patients accessing their medicine,” said CAMCD President Dieter MacPherson.

The cannabis industry is growing rapidly and municipalities across the country are grappling with the challenge of how to regulate dispensaries. “The evidence from jurisdictions across North America, including Vancouver and Victoria, is clear – working with the industry to craft smart municipal regulations is the key to controlling growth, not police action,” added MacPherson.

“CAMCD has been working closely with local governments to develop regulations that allow patients to access their medicine in a safe and secure retail environment, while also addressing the concerns of the community and policy makers.  Our team is certainly prepared to work with the City of Toronto moving forward.” said CAMCD President Dieter MacPherson.

CAMCD’s Required Organizational Practices and rigorous Certification Standards have been developed to support dispensaries in  providing the highest quality of products and services to their patients. “Our dispensaries have shown support for both self-regulation and working with local governments to address safety and public health concerns, they are far from reckless.”

CAMCD has reached out to the City of Toronto both proactively and in response to these raids. “Consulting with the cannabis community, including organizations like CAMCD, would have been a positive and proactive step. This crackdown is disproportionate and is out of touch with how many Canadians feel about cannabis.” said MacPherson

About CAMCD:

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries was founded in 2010 and has worked with dispensaries, patients, university-based researchers, public health officials, governments and nonprofits to develop its patient-focused approach to cannabis distribution.


For media inquiries or questions please contact:

Dieter MacPherson

CAMCD President



CAMCD Press Release May 27 2016

Press Release – CAMCD responds to threats against Councillor Kerry Jang

CAMCD responds to threats against Councillor Kerry Jang

CAMCD stands with the City of Vancouver in condemning threats of violence

May 2 2016 Vancouver – The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) stands in support of City Councillor Kerry Jang, his family, and the City of Vancouver in the face of the alleged threats against Councillor Jang.

“Threats directed towards our elected officials are completely unacceptable. We live in a democracy and our elected officials deserve the same right to safety and security as enjoyed by every Canadian,” said CAMCD’s President Dieter MacPherson.

CAMCD stands for principled non-compliance when confronted with laws that limit patient access to medical cannabis. While the City of Vancouver’s dispensary bylaws are contentious, the proposed framework is still a big step toward ensuring that patients have local access to safe, consistent, affordable medical cannabis.

MacPherson added that, “Today’s alleged threats are entirely out of step with the values and objectives of principled non-compliance. Any disagreements regarding the city bylaws must be handled through the proper channels and threats of violence are never the answer.”

CAMCD has gained its place in the medical cannabis industry by being proactive in creating standards for dispensaries and a certification program.

“Members of CAMCD must adhere to the highest possible standards of conduct and be responsible community members. This not only supports good will within the community, but also helps to challenge the stigma that plagues patients and this industry”, stated MacPherson.

CAMCD condemns in no uncertain terms threats of violence in any form be they proponents or opponents of dispensaries.

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries was founded in 2010 to promote patient-focused, community-based distribution models. The organization launched a certification program in 2013, and a Trade Membership Program in 2015.

# # #

For media inquiries or questions please contact:

Dieter MacPherson



Press Release: CAMCD Announces New Leadership and New Focus

CAMCD Announces New Leadership And New Focus

CAMCD holds successful AGM, and asks city of Vancouver to work with members


On March 29th, 2016 the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) held its Annual General Meeting expanding its board and electing new board members.  Newly elected President, Dieter MacPherson believes times have changed, legalization is imminent and the organization looks forward to working closely with government on regulations, policy and permitting.


CAMCD has ratified a new set of bylaws that incorporates key structural and organizational changes allowing for broader membership involvement and the development of a more robust organization.


“CAMCD’s new board of directors have established a new, stronger mandate to engage our membership, government and the public. The structural changes allow for every trade member to participate in the direction of the organization and are meant to inspire a new sense of unity, inclusiveness and strength”, said MacPherson.


“We’ve learned a lot working with the City of Vancouver on the Medical Marijuana Related Use Permit Bylaw which we can use toward building more effective bylaws for other municipalities in Canada. As the first organization to work with a Canadian municipal government on medical cannabis land use permitting and we intend to focus more energy on being more effective at this core competency,” said MacPherson


Part of the risk of being the first to introduce new regulations in any industry is that some issues may fall through the cracks.  We want to ensure that those issues are dealt with so that we can facilitate smoother implementation for other cities.  The City of Vancouver has pioneered the regulatory permitting of medical cannabis dispensaries in Canada and we have great respect for that.  Now we want to forge stronger relationships with Vancouver and other municipalities.


CAMCD strongly encourages the City of Vancouver to offer amnesty to our members that are, in good faith, proceeding through declustering or awaiting their Board of Variance hearing. Mr. MacPherson believes “The City of Vancouver was sincere in their intentions so now we need to work with them and other municipalities to ensure that medical cannabis dispensaries can continue to provide the same critical care as they have been for 20 years.”


CAMCD is reaching out to municipalities to offer support and expertise in drafting bylaws to regulate emerging dispensaries. CAMCD emphasizes a community approach to medical cannabis dispensing and believes municipalities are very important stakeholders in the legalization movement despite provincial and federal legalization legislation expected in 2017.


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.

# # #

For media inquiries or questions please contact:

Dieter MacPherson




Dispensary Association Offers Expertise to MP Blair

Welcomes Coming Consultation Process on Cannabis

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) commends the Liberal government for continued momentum toward cannabis legalization with Friday’s announcement that MP Bill Blair will lead broad-based consultations under the Minister of Justice.

“We are pleased this government has reaffirmed its dedication to an evidence-based approach and we are confident that the knowledge and experience of dispensaries will help this government develop excellent public policy,” said CAMCD President Jamie Shaw. “Previous cannabis regulations did not include input from some key stakeholders, and it took many long and costly court battles to force the government to act on the evidence.”

“Community-based dispensaries are the proven and preferred retail model for medicinal and recreational cannabis in an ever-growing number of jurisdictions, and we are supportive of Blair’s commitment to learning from these experiences,” said Shaw. As an example, Shaw noted that other jurisdictions have kept the sales of cannabis separate from alcohol.

Canadian dispensaries have over twenty years of experience handling retail cannabis sales, and have been supported by the courts and the Senate. CAMCD was established in 2011 as a non-profit organization to support dispensaries in providing high quality products and patient care through its Certification Program.

“As the only organization in Canada with actual experience regulating dispensaries and consulting with municipal regulators around dispensary licensing, CAMCD is looking forward to participating with the task force,” said Shaw. “Legislation based on our knowledge and expertise will ensure that the impact on patients will be carefully considered.”

CAMCD would like to see small and medium-sized businesses included in legislation moving forward. Shaw said that “Transitioning the pre-existing dispensaries and their suppliers into the new legal market is the key to effective legalization.”




Media Contact:

Jamie Shaw, CAMCD President


Dispensary Association Agrees No Need to Reinvent the Wheel

Makes Sense to Use Existing System for Cannabis Distribution

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) agrees with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union that there is no need 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,” said CAMCD President Jamie Shaw, “It makes the most sense to utilize the existing distribution system to sell cannabis in a legalized context.”

In most of the US states that have legalized cannabis for medical and social use, cannabis products are sold in specialized dispensaries. Colorado’s legalization was specifically built on the pre-existing dispensary model, and when it was first introduced, required all legal retail enterprises to be existing medical cannabis retailers.

According to Dana Larsen, CAMDC’s Vice President, Canada and the provinces
should follow Colorado’s lead and allow dispensaries to take their place in the legal market. “Patients prefer dispensaries over both the black market and current legal options. They like and trust this system,” noted Larsen. “If a goal of legalization is to put an end to the black market, this is the best way accomplish that.”

“It is not surprising that provincial and private liquor stores are interested in this newly emerging legal cannabis market, as no doubt are the pharmacies, we have seen this in other jurisdictions,” Said Larsen. However he notes that cannabis is a completely different substance with different storage and handling requirements, and patterns of use. “These retailers would have to make major changes to accommodate cannabis sales,” Larsen added.

Rielle Capler, a CAMCD advisor, also sees dispensary retail distribution as an important economic opportunity for Canadians. “We have the opportunity here to create a new type of legal small business that would promote entrepreneurship and help to create new jobs, which will greatly benefit the economy, ” said Capler.

Dispensaries are already being licensed and regulated in some municipalities to address public health and safety concerns. “CAMCD has developed a thorough certification program to support dispensaries in following best practices and providing the highest quality of care” said Shaw, adding “this should be the basis of regulations for retail distribution”.

The CAMCD program includes regulations for age restrictions. “We need to have regulations based on evidence and that weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks, including the risk of the black-market”, said Capler.

Washington has deliberately kept the the sales of cannabis separate from alcohol.
Capler cautions “Cannabis and alcohol do not mix well together. Selling both products at the same outlet could promote unintended consequences. We want to see a public health approach for legalization in Canada that will increase potential benefits and reduce potential harms.”



Dispensary Association Disappointed in Nanaimo RCMP

Enforcement Action Hurts Patients Most


The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) called yesterday’s Nanaimo RCMP enforcement action a completely inappropriate way to deal with dispensaries. “It’s like using a sledgehammer as a flyswatter,” said Jamie Shaw, the organization’s President, “and about as effective.”

With the clear direction given by Canadian voters to end prohibition, and Nanaimo city council voting last week 8-1 to receive information on regulating dispensaries,CAMCD is disappointed that the RCMP chose enforcement over engaging dispensaries with specific concerns. The organization believes this is a heavy-handed approach, and that it speaks volumes about the stigma still attached to cannabis and cannabis patients.

While dispensaries operate outside Canada’s medical cannabis program, not only have officials at all levels of government have been calling for their inclusion in a regulatory framework for the last two decades, several municipalities in the province have already begun to license them. Dispensaries are currently the only source for patients to access many edibles and derivatives, a right awarded to them in a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

Vancouver Police Department estimates of dispensary investigation costs, if comparable, would mean the RCMP spent almost $100, 000 in Nanaimo yesterday. Municipalities that have engaged both dispensaries and their patients, and the broader community are managing the issue much more effectively, Shaw said, citing Kimberly and Victoria as recent examples.

In Vancouver, despite many concerns voiced by dispensaries with the city’s regulations, only two dispensaries out of over a hundred in the city had not applied for a license by the deadline. “At best, a successful enforcement action simply drives cannabis further underground, making it not only harder for patients, but also for both law enforcement and public officials to effectively address any issues that may arise.”



Media Contact : jamie@thecompassionclub.org