(Shad Qadri shared these comments in his weekly newsletter to residents today.)
As many of you may be aware, a new medicinal marijuana dispensary, Magna Terra, is slated to open soon at 83 Iber Road.
This will be the City of Ottawa’s sixth unlicensed marijuana dispensary of a potential nine in the coming months. Licensed dispensaries, such as the one in Smiths Falls aptly named “Tweed”, operate on a mail-order basis. Doctor’s prescriptions can be submitted and product is handled and packaged in a plant before being delivered directly to its recipient. These services are safe, reliable, and ensure that all operations are within the guidelines sanctioned by the government of Ontario.
Unlicensed dispensaries, alternatively, do not operate within these same regulations.
Following my discussions with owner, Franco Vigile, Magna Terra on Iber Road will operate as a storefront business, dispensing medicinal marijuana to anyone presenting a valid doctor’s prescription. I have been assured that at this particular facility, a doctor will be on site for review. Additionally, no product will be available within the visible sales floor. I did request at this time that a community open forum be held prior to the official announcement of their opening however the owner opted instead to ignore this request and instead will take the form of an open house on August 2nd and 3rd from 12-7 PM.
I will reiterate that while I appreciate the medicinal benefits that marijuana may provide to patients suffering from both physical and mental illnesses, an operation of this nature opening and operating willingly without a license is irresponsible to both local residents and clientele being serviced – particularly when licensed channels such as the marijuana manufacturing plant, Tweed, already operate effectively for residents of Ottawa.
One of my major concerns remains the problems posed in location as 83 Iber Road is a mere 15 minute walk from both Jean Paul II Elementary and Paul-Desmarais High School, a factor that would have been taken into consideration by a licensed establishment.
I understand the need for a market of this nature but there is a time and a place for everything; as the federal government works to legalize sale of the drug and proper mechanisms are implemented to take circumstances like this into consideration, only then will the concerns and needs of all residents be heard.
The City does not license or otherwise regulate (other than through zoning) this type of activity and until they are opened, there is little Police can do but monitor the establishment. Similarly, if any food or beverage items are to be sold, approval must be given through health inspection.
I do encourage residents to attend the facility’s open house on August 2nd and 3rd from 12-7 PM to learn more about this facility.
Until that time, I will work closely with Ottawa Police to ensure that this facility does not over step the bounds of what is legal and that community needs are met.
I would still like to request resident feedback on this dispensary. If you have not already, please share with me your thoughts and ideas by emailing me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca