Dozens of medical cannabis dispensaries began their court challenge on Tuesday against the city of Vancouver and the federal government, arguing their shops fill a crucial need for patients unable to get reasonable access to pot through the federal government.
About 40 dispensaries brought a test case to the B.C. Supreme Court — which began hearing the case on Tuesday — and have all agreed to accept the decision.
The dispensaries say the federal government failed to include them in its plans for legalization on Oct. 17. And they argue Vancouver’s rules are so tough that many cannabis outlets can’t get city permits.
“We’re arguing that the (city’s) application process is too onerous and, essentially, the federal government has failed to provide what’s called ‘reasonable access’ for medical cannabis patients, because the bulk of patients require in-person, storefront access to cannabis, rather than the government’s failed mail-order program,” said Jack Lloyd, a Toronto