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Recent developments in Vancouver's medical marijuana industry part of discussion at upcoming forum

Last Updated May 5, 2015 at 8:25 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Medical marijuana is big business in our country and people from all parts of the industry are about to gather for a forum in Vancouver.

There have been a lot of hot-button issues when it comes to pot in our city, and at least one of them is set to be touched on.

City Council recently decided to hold public hearings on how to regulate dispensaries in Vancouver.

David Brown with Lift Cannabis, which is hosting the forum, says the focus of that part will likely be how to properly regulate production and sale, in terms of testing and quality-assurance standards.

“How dispensaries could possibly be regulated [and the] products they’re selling could be regulated certainly ties into that. There is a larger issue of legality and how that can be connected with existing dispensary models, but in terms of how cannabis that is sold at a dispensary or cannabis that is sold through a current licensed producer through the MMPR (Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations) [is produced], it’s all certainly part of the same conversation,” says Brown.

He tells us there is one specific question set for panellists to talk about, in terms of regulation.

“The larger question is going to touch on the fact that the MMPR in its initial stages had allowed for distribution through pharmacies and there was some push-back from pharmacies and that regulation was taken out. And so the idea is, what sort of distribution model could allow for over-the-counter retail stores? Obviously, dispensaries tie into that. Although they aren’t the end-all-be-all, there are possible other options, like pharmacies.”

Brown says between 100 and 150 people are expected to show up from across the country to talk about the industry on a national level — they’ll be producers, packaging companies, dispensary owners, and members of the public.

The forum is happening Thursday at 6 p.m. at UBC Robson Square.