Calgary: Medical pot counselling businesses to be treated like liquor stores under new rules

City council has approved rules to prevent medical marijuana counselling businesses from clustering in communities or opening near schools, in an effort to prevent illegal dispensaries from littering neighbourhoods.

While the rules may be aggressive in a city with just two medical marijuana counselling outfits (that can’t legally dispense the drug), some councillors said it’s important to get ahead of what could be a major problem down the road.

“I’m not one to typically be supportive of overregulation but, in this particular instance, I think it’s a prudent step,” Coun. Andre Chabot said during Tuesday’s debate on the changes.

Council heard that in larger cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, an explosion of counselling centres turned illegal dispensaries have clustered together and plagued communities with problems.

“If we don’t manage the counselling piece very well, we’ll find ourselves with an out-of-control dispensary situation, which is what happened in Toronto,” said Mayor Naheed...

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