I disagree with licensing businesses that are illegal.
What happens when these businesses are not part of federal/provincial legalization scheme? What happens when you legitimize a business and they set up shop, sign a lease and in next year they are closed by RCMP Who is liable for their loss? Why not wait until there is more structure and clarity?
I’m in favour of legalization. I also believe that retail sales of a controlled substance such as alcohol and tobacco brings no more social issues than marijuana, yet you license a liquor store for mere hundreds. It’s terrible policy. Just because you know something may be getting legalized isn’t a reason to go against the law. Would you go to an after hours bar? Not unless they were legally operating in the first place.
These places don’t only sell to people with medical need. They are drug dealers. If a 20 year old kid is caught with a few ounces of weed will the RCMP do anything to him? You can’t throw a person in jail for selling weed to his customers and then turn a blind eye to an illegitimate storefront doing the same thing. Just because the city issues a business license doesn’t make it legal. People who need medical marijuana have 34 federally licensed options that sell it. medical marijuana is available for people who need it.
Further to that, I highly doubt that the provincial government when tasked with creating a distribution model will even consider these pseudo-legal dispensaries as an option. The government will control this product just like it does alcohol and tobacco and tax it. As it should.
When a community is willing to license an illegal business, what does this say? It’s not grey. It is black and white.