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 (ACCRES) to gain an understanding of how Canadian dispensaries serve public needs and the importance of a community dispensing model. ACCRES’s Position Paper on Legalization was also submitted to the Task Force to encourage inclusion of dedicated storefront retail sales.
“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 ACCRES’s President, Jeremy Jacob. ACCRES 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.”
ACCRES 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. ACCRES does not believe government wholesaling of cannabis is a viable course for legalization,” stated Jacob.
ACCRES looks forward to working with the provincial government on regulations for dedicated retail sales. “We encourage the provincial governments to review ACCRES’s Dispensary Certification Standards as a model for provincial regulation of retail dispensing and welcome further collaboration with them to this end. ACCRES also looks forward to working with provincial governments across Canada to establish comprehensive training programs for retail cannabis workers.”
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