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Weed Crackdown Continues While Government Liquor Boards Try to Get Some of That Pot Cash

Here's your Week on Weed, from Fucked Up's Damian Abraham.

by Damian Abraham
Apr 8 2016, 5:56pm


Photo via Flickr user Cannabis Culture

Back again with your weekly weedy roundup of Canadian cannabis news. So first off, STOP THE PRESSES!!!! One of Canada's most active cannabis activists and fan favourite of this column has been arrested. On only the second stop of his cross-country OverGrow Canada tour, Dana Larsen was busted by the Calgary po-po. Larsen was working on giving away one million free seeds to Canadians to help them grow cannabis legalization "Victory Gardens." The Calgary cops charged him with trafficking, seized 1,097 grams of marijuana seeds as well as some weed, oil and the group's van. Dana was released on bail and ordered back to court on May 18th.

In an interview with the CBC Dana stated that although bail conditions may prevent him from handing out the seeds, the campaign will continue by mail. He added that all the attention on the arrest has led to more people requesting seeds and more people offering to supply them, so he will now give away two million seeds. Larsen added, "It's not about me. It's about supporting the many other people who are still in jail for cannabis."

Another problem solved by police!

Cops Be Copping

The British Columbia RCMP continued their sporadic war on dispensaries this week with two raids. The Chilliwack Times reported reported that the newly opened WeeMedical was the city's first dispensary under investigation after the RCMP got a tip that they were selling marijuana (that required a tip?). Fines of a $1,000 a day are being levelled at the WeeMedical Dispensary Society who run it and nine other dispensaries, all of which the society plans to fight. Dispensary manager Shayli Vere was arrested and released but was able to medicate in her cell while in police custody. That sure beats me medicating at the Junos.

Not to be outdone, the RCMP in Campbell River, BC also decided to make their presence felt and raid the one week old Trees Dispensary. The Campbell River Mirror reports that, as per usual, cash, cannabis, and extractions were seized, while the manager was arrested and ultimately released. What is interesting is that the RCMP left behind the edibles. This is even more interesting given the attempted response to edibles in Vancouver's dispensary regulatory framework. But I guess the RCMP is kind of responding to the Supreme Court ruling it the situation seems a little muddled to me. But for now, as they say in Campbell River, eat up.

What's the Likelihood of a Food & Drink & Weed Magazine?

The delicious weedy treats were on the minds of the people over at the CBC National this week. Reporter Chris Brown talked to legendary edible maker Watermelon and toured edible production facilities in the US where he was given a sense of the scope of the market. However, it was a little troubling how they kept comparing alcohol intoxication to getting high on cannabis. Once again: WEED IS NOT BOOZE! MOVING ON.

Speaking of people that have a problem in making that distinction, nary a week goes by that one of Canada's provincial liquor boards doesn't float the idea of getting into the pot-sellingracket ($$$$$). Without getting into the specifics about why the two are a dangerous mix, it really comes down to that fact that they are not the same thing and encouraging the sale side by side shows the exact lack of understanding of cannabis that would lead people like me to wonder why they would want to sell it in the first place? (The answer, of course, being $$$$$.)

Speaking of under-informed would-be retailers looking for the green in cannabis, this week the Canadian Pharmacists Association reversed their previous stance, and now say they are the ones best suited to retail Canada's medical marijuana ($$$$$). This of course reverses the previous 2013 position that instituted the whole government mail-order cannabis distribution system. Even the licensed producers who like the idea of pharmacies as a distribution point question their understanding of the market. Executive director of the industry group, The Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association, told the CEEB that there is no way they could stock all the hundreds of strains on the market today and that it would put patients at a disadvantage—and cannabis would cost more. So there's that.

As part of this Daily VICE episode, Damian checks out what it's like to do high yoga.

Canada's Mom Knows Best

Finally, the mother of our Dear Beloved Prime Minister and a former Canadian first lady, Margaret Trudeau gave a speech urging cannabis regulation last week. During her keynote speech at the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board's annual equity conference, she told a packed room of educators about her experience with mental illness, self-medicating with cannabis, and how regulation of the plant is needed to help children, the Toronto Star reported.

As always, mom knows best.

Also in Ontario, the battle to prevent cannabis from falling under Bill 45 wages on. This bill sucks because it will make places like the RAD weed-friendly yoga studio that I went to for Daily VICE last week illegal. I mean, that place got me to actually try yoga!

Until next week, dispensaries keep opening, and people keep getting busted.

Keep vaping, burning, or dabbing the good kush.

Follow Damian Abraham on Twitter.

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Week on Weed