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

CAMCD Comments on Proposed Regulations, Victoria BC

Victoria Releases Staff Report on Proposed Regulations

With the announcement yesterday of Victoria’s draft regulations for medical cannabis dispensaries, the city is poised to become the third municipality in BC to license these businesses.

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) congratulates city staff for all their hard work up to this point. “The report was very thorough,” said Dieter MacPherson, a Director of CAMCD who has been spearheading the organization’s efforts in Victoria. “While we don’t agree with all of the recommended bylaws, we’re generally pleased that options were outlined in the report, and we look forward to further consultations.”

Of particular concern are the proposed restrictions to all forms of derivatives outside of capsules, tinctures and oils said MacPherson, “The supreme court was very clear on this matter. Patient have the right to other form of this medicine, such as baked goods”. MacPherson also noted concerns about restrictions on mail-order or deliveries, that would impede access for some patients.

Earlier in the week, council had reviewed a motion to delay looking at this issue until the new federal government announced its plans for the legalization of cannabis. CAMCD’s President Jamie Shaw said, “We think they made the right choice in not putting this off,” citing the exponential growth of medical cannabis dispensaries over the last two years. “Municipalities across the country should be looking at what type of zoning and licensing requirements they would like to see.”

Shaw also added that the organization was disappointed in the leadership in some jurisdictions. “We would hope that other municipalities would see the senselessness of expending resources on cannabis infractions in these last days of prohibition,” said Shaw. “Particularly in the targeting of dispensaries serving those with medical need.”

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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 earlier this year.

Media Contact: dietermacpherson@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE – CAMCD Congratulates Liberals on win

CAMCD-Press-Release-October 20-2015

CAMCD Congratulates Liberals on win

Dispensaries Look Forward To Working With Government

Vancouver, BC, October 20, 2015 – The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) would like to congratulate Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada for their win in last nights election. “We think it’s a very positive step generally for the future of cannabis in Canada,” said President Jamie Shaw “ending prohibition is a great start, but there is still a need for regulations that address the needs of medicinal users.”

CAMCD has been lobbying for the inclusion of dispensaries in a Canadian regulatory framework since 2011, continuing the decade-long work of its founding members, and represents the largest cannabis patient group in Canada. In the last year, CAMCD has grown to over thirty member dispensaries, and has been heavily involved in consultations with various municipalities about their bylaw or licensing regulations.

The organization is looking forward to again engaging in dialogue with the federal government . “We want Canada to have the best system possible, and learn from the mistakes of other jurisdictions,” Shaw said. “We can help regulators here avoid the problems places like Washington State have had on the medical side, and contribute to something that truly works for everybody.”

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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For Vancouver media or information inquiries please contact Jamie Shaw by email at info@camcd.ca.

For Victoria media or information inquiries please contact Dieter MacPherson by email at dietermacpherson@gmail.com

Press Release: CAMCD Comments on Health Canada Correspondence

Download Original: CAMCD Press Release Sept 10 2015 2 CAMCD Press Release Sept 10 2015 2

CAMCD Comments on Health Canada Correspondence

Federal government out of step with realities on the ground

September 11, 2015 – – Today, the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) has confirmed some of the oldest dispensaries in North America were among those that received a letter from Health Canada threatening legal action. Consistent lack of leadership and inaction from the federal government on this issue has led to municipalities stepping in and creating their own regulations for these vital institutions. Dispensaries have been doing their best to comply with these regulations. These dispensaries, and CAMCD, have been requesting inclusion in a comprehensive regulatory framework since their inceptions, this threatening application of the NCR and FDA is not constructive and harms patient access and care.

The work of dispensaries has been upheld by the Canadian courts, recommended by the Senate, commended by Parliament and three dispensary pioneers have been awarded diamond jubilee medals for their important contributions to Canada. For almost two decades these dispensaries have been transparent in their conduct with their local police forces and have been supported by their communities.

“The current Federal government is ignoring all of those well-informed bodies by threatening dispensaries with massive fines and jail time if they do not abandon their patients within two weeks, patients they have been supporting for almost twenty years”. CAMCD President Jamie Shaw said, “It would be unconscionable for these dispensaries to do so, and it is unconscionable Health Canada has asked them to.”

The current federal regulations for medical cannabis, the MMPR, do not currently serve the needs of all patients, and dispensaries still fill many important gaps. “It is distressing that the Conservative government would choose to address the holes in their system by taking this dramatic and unprecedented action,” Shaw said, “without actually addressing the needs of the very sick and suffering patients they have already failed.”

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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For media inquiries of questions please email us at info@camcd.ca

Press Release- CAMCD COMMENTS ON VANCOUVER REGULATIONS

CAMCD Press ReleaseJune 29 2015 – 2

Vancouver, BC, June 29 2015 – The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) announced they were pleased with Vancouver’s decision to regulate dispensaries, however are concerned that some of the bylaws may impede patient care and best practices established by the industry. “This is certainly a hugely important milestone, but there are still some details to be ironed out to make this an effective bylaw” said President Jamie Shaw.

 

Among the groups concerns are the exclusion of most edible products, especially after the Supreme Court ruling that recognized the right of patients to access this form of cannabis medicine.

 

CAMCD noted that the new Compassion Club designation allowing for reduced licensing fees for some dispensaries is overly restrictive. “It is truly great to see Vancouver acknowledge the delivery of complementary health care services provided by some dispensaries, however this is not an typical business model and dispensaries can give back to patients and communities in other valuable ways that should also be recognized,.” Shaw said.

 

CAMCD also expressed concern over the possibility that almost all of Vancouver’s longest standing dispensaries will have to move from their current locations. “What we’re looking at is dispensaries that have been in their locations for over 5 years without problems, now being forced to move into areas that may end up being problematic,” Shaw said, “Hopefully Council will recognize that the disruption and chaos we’re looking at in the next few months is actually counter-productive to serving the public interest.”

 

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 to provide standards and promote Canada’s Medical Cannabis Dispensary Industry.

 
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If you would like more information about these topics, please email us at info@camcd.ca

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.

http://camcd-acdcm.ca/complaint/

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 info@camcd.ca

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 info@camcd.ca.

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 info@camcd.ca.