News / Ottawa

Ottawa councillor and pot shop both reaching out to community

Everyone wants to know what residents think about the future of marijuana dispensaries.

File photo of a dispensary in Toronto, at the re-opening of the Cannabis Culture pot shop.

Torstar news service

File photo of a dispensary in Toronto, at the re-opening of the Cannabis Culture pot shop.

River ward Coun. Riley Brockington and the owner of Ottawa Cannabis Dispensary are both inviting feedback from Carlington residents on the future of marijuana dispensaries.

The shop – painted in unmistakable bright green – opened up in July across the street from a school to the surprise of many residents in the Carlington neighborhood.

According to Brockington, the store is not licensed by Health Canada.

In a letter circulated Tuesday, Brockington asked residents for feedback on marijuana dispensaries and what role bylaw should play in limiting their locations. He also includes a statement from the Ottawa police.

“We as a police agency are being asked to weigh the black and white rule of law to an area that is seeing a shift in societal acceptance. The regulations related to this issue are increasingly difficult to navigate,” reads the statement.

The letter from police notes that there is a proven need for medical marijuana and they do not want to pursue possession charges but “enforcement efforts are ongoing.”

Brockington said he's not against the use of medical marijuana – he said a close family friend has seen great results after use – but he wants bylaw to be able to control how they operate.

Dispensary owner Deep Singh said he was originally planning a community information session with the councillor, but it was cancelled.

He said he’s planning on delivering his own info notice to residents this week.

“We wanted to go ahead with the meeting, because we have a lot of people coming in for information and we want to talk to the community about what medical marijuana is,” said Singh. “We totally agree that the city needs to get involved and create a structure for stores. We gladly invite anybody with questions to come by the store and have a discussion.”

Singh said a community consult – either with the support of Brockington’s office or independently – will be planned before the winter.

More on