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Pot summit in Vancouver aims to help businesses navigate uncertain climate

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A gathering today in Vancouver is looking at the highs and lows the medical marijuana business in Canada.

The Canadian Marihuana for Medical Purposes Summit aims to bring together everyone from growers to regulators to talk pot and network on the business side of medical cannabis.

“The idea is to bring stakeholders together and get a better understanding of where the industry is going, how to comply with Health Canada regulations and to understand the business aspect,” says Laleah Bigash, a spokesperson for the summit.

“Right now there is a lot of ambiguity in the industry, nothing is moving and people don’t know what’s going on,” she tells NEWS 1130.

While the regulatory landscape has been changing, Bigash says they have seen “nothing solid” from Health Canada.

“There are a lot of people who have applied to be licensed producers and they’ve been in the line-up for the past two years. This is an expensive endeavour and there is absolutely no communication from Health Canada except from their website.”

She believes the business environment for medical marijuana producers has become risky.

“You really don’t know what the environment is or when you can expect to get a license. There are a lot of people who have put a lot of money, effort and resources into this. Some have even hired people and then had to lay them off because they aren’t sure when they’ll be approved.”

The future is uncertain for many medical marijuana dispensaries, as well.

Health Canada recently threatened to shut down dispensaries and compassion clubs for illegal advertising and sale, though the Vancouver Police Department has no plans to crack down on pot shops.

The City of Vancouver is tightening up regulations for the growing number of dispensaries as it gets set to issue licenses in December.