Sooke mom wants controls on medical marijuana dispensaries

Kate Karassev fears mass arrival of medical marijuana dispensaries in Sooke following tougher rules in Victoria

  • Sat Aug 6th, 2016 10:00am
  • News

A Sooke mom is afraid of a mass arrival of medical marijuana dispensaries in town and wants tougher action by district officials.

Kate Karassev began an online poll Thursday urging city council to regulate the medical marijuana industry in Sooke. The poll can be found here.

Sooke currently has three dispensaries. The first one opened its doors in April.

The City of Victoria is moving forward to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries that have popped up on city streets, in an attempt to control the booming sector.

There are 38 known medical marijuana businesses operating in Victoria that sell marijuana paraphernalia, provide medical advice and manufacture products containing marijuana, only eight of which have business licences that allow for the sale of such products.

“I am afraid that those businesses will be tempted to open in Sooke because there will be no similar bylaws,” Karassev said.

“I haven’t heard one person who said that it is great thing to have dispensaries in Sooke. I would like everyone who has concerns to be heard by our mayor and council.”

The District of Sooke business license bylaw does not prohibit medicinal marijuana retail outlets.

Mayor Maja Tait said she hasn’t heard any negative comments of the local dispensaries, most comments have been neutral. The RCMP haven’t seen problems with the local establishments, even though they continue to monitor them closely.

“I’m not seeing it as a problem,” Tait said. “I think it’s something I need to hear from residents. If they are experiencing problems, I need to hear from them.”

Tait doesn’t think Sooke will see the same dilemma as Victoria because there is a lack of retail space here for a dispensary to set up shop.

Karassev hopes to get 100 signatures on her online poll and expects to present it to council this fall.