Martin has a big question for the people running in the Burnaby byelection.
He wants to know where they stand on the cannabis issue. He wants to know because he’s fed up with waiting for an actual cannabis store to open in Burnaby – B.C.’s third-largest city.
By contrast, tiny New Westminster has already approved and seen multiple cannabis stores open.
“Currently, Burnaby does not have an open cannabis dispensary; there is one (government store) slated to open in Old Orchard,” Martin writes. “Cannabis has been legal in Canada for three years and without a dispensary, to buy legal cannabis Burnaby residents are forced to leave their community at a physical store or they need to purchase online. Or they buy it on the black market. I don’t get it! Burnaby residents deserve more choices for buying cannabis within our city. People are going to continue to buy cannabis and the more legal means to do so supports the fledgling retail industry encouraging it to grow, which will force the black market and all its bad actors to shut down.”
It’s a fair point and why Martin has written a letter to all 14 byelection candidates asking for their stances on cannabis.
“I know this is not the most important issue concerning our city and its council,” says Martin. “But it is an issue that needs to be addressed and it is on the civic level that licensing decisions are made. I am very disappointed with the decisions made by previous councils and before I vote in the upcoming byelection, I would like to know the candidates’ opinions.”
I personally don’t indulge in cannabis, but now that it’s legal it’s ridiculous how slow the city has moved on this file. I mean it’s glacial compared to other cities. Oh, and keeping the proposals to strictly government-run stores is also a seriously antiquated issue.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.