District in a haze as it awaits federal pot legislation

District in a haze as it awaits federal pot legislation

“We’re not interested in any more – 3 is enough,” says Mayor Maja Tait

  • Mar. 6, 2017 12:00 p.m.

Until the federal government legalizes marijuana, the District of Sooke won’t allow any more pot dispensaries in Sooke, says Mayor Maja Tait.

“We’re not interested in any more – 3 is enough,” she said.

Tait made the comments the same day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Victoria that new legislation would come before Parliament this summer.

“We’ll wait to see how we proceed. We need to see what the federal legislation and provincial regulations look like before we see what role we take,” she said.

Sooke’s pot dispensaries started popping up in town within weeks of each other last spring. Critics argue there are more marijuana dispensaries in Sooke than drug stores.

Pot problems are a big issue for municipalities with retail outlets selling untested marijuana products in defiance of federal and local laws. Oils and concentrates are sold in some dispensaries and used in baked goods.

Marijuana dispensaries are illegal, according to federal regulations.

Municipalities have tackled the issue in many ways. Some cities allow the stores to operate without a business licence, others sell business licences, while another tact is to close pot dispensaries when they open.

Langford made headlines recently when a pot dispensary opened there. It was closed down three times by police.

Sooke RCMP keeps a watch on the local marijuana dispensaries, but have decided not to shut them down, said Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur.

Instead, Sooke police officers are targeting hard drug traffickers and attempting to curb illegal opiates in the community – an approach favoured by the mayor.

“I’d rather see the RCMP is dealing with harder drugs,” Tait said.