Medical marijuana is a growth industry, says Tamara Duggan of Kimberley. Duggan and her husband, Rod, were at Kimberley City Council on Monday evening, informing Council of their plans to open Tamarack Dispensaries, purveyors of high quality medicinal cannabis products, in Kimberley.
Medical marijuana can be distributed through Health Canada, but that only allows for the purchase of dried plant product from authorized growers. But Duggan says there are many who could benefit from the medicinal qualities of cannabis who don’t wish to inhale it.
Their plan is to promote the use of edible cookies, butters, oils and tinctures in a storefront that is “upscale and clinical”.
“Image is everything in the dispensary business,” Duggan said. “We will be as presentable and professional as any pharmacy.”
Tamarack Dispensaries will be a member of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries. The CAMCD’s vice president is Dana Larsen, who headed up the decriminalization of marijuana petition last year.
“I like to say we are not legislated,” Larsen said. “When dispensaries have gone to court, the court consistently recognizes that we’re helping people, that the federal government’s medical marijuana program is a failure; and they are not willing to treat it like a serious crime.”
“Government programs are simply not meeting people’s needs,” Duggan told Council. “It’s simply a matter of time before legislation will govern this industry. If it’s not us, it will be someone whose vision is different from ours.”
In the meantime, the Duggans have consulted with local RCMP Constable Chris Newel.
“We will work closely with the RCMP to ensure legitimacy and accountability in our business operations.”
Newel said the RCMP would ensure the business operated within the laws and regulations set down by Federal Government and Health Canada.
Duggan says she grew up with a strong ‘say no to drugs’ message and has never touched drugs, including marijuana. However, when her husband Rod was injured four years ago and she watched him deal with chronic pain, that changed. Last December, they visited a dispensary in Vancouver and he tried the medicinal cannabis. There was a marked improvement in his condition.
“I got my husband back,” she said. “Medical marijuana should be made available to those who need it.”
Rod Duggan says that there are quite a few people in Kimberley, at least 100 that he is aware of, that need alternatives to opiates. And the business would hope to draw customers from Cranbrook as well.
Their product would be lower THC and focus more on the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
“I would support it 100 per cent,” said Coun. Bev Middlebrook. “I know people with MS who need it.”
Coun. Nigel Kitto, says in his role as a registered nurse he often comes across people who need medical marijuana but don’t smoke.
Council had some concerns about security, but the Duggans said the product would not be on display and kept in three safes in the store. There would also be a security system.
They say they believe in responsible stewardship and would only sell to eligible customers who meet stringent qualifying criterion, such as prescriptions. As legislation is brought in, they say they would welcome more rules governing the business.
“Our vision is to add a viable, legitimate, and clinical business to Kimberley’s economy. Our research indicates that the presence of medical marijuana dispensaries is a growth industry in Canada with BC being the leader. And it provides a vital enhancement to the government’s Marijuana for Medical Purposes regulations.”
The Duggans hope to open Tamarack Dispensaries by mid-summer.