By DAVID WYLIE
A former B.C. premier wants people to have a safe supply of weed.
Mike Harcourt, who chairs True Leaf Medicine based in Lumby, is calling on the federal government to ensure a “safe and secure” supply of marijuana is available before the drug is legalized.
A recent report showed that marijuana sold at some dispensaries contains restricted pesticides and herbicides, raising concerns that use of marijuana could have dangerous consequences for consumers.
“A safe and secure source of supply is right under their noses,” said Harcourt.
There are 33 licensed producers that have been through a thorough process of obtaining a licence to produce and distribute medical marijuana – and another 416 (including True Leaf) that are working their way through.
That process includes screening, security clearance, review, pre-licence inspection and, finally, licensing.
Harcourt is calling on the government to speed up the vetting process of applicants in the queue in order to be ready for the increase in demand when marijuana is legalized for recreational purposes.
“Many of those 400-plus companies are ready, willing and able to provide a safe and secure supply for distribution now,” he said.
He added that medical marijuana patients are already relying on dispensaries – even though they are considered illegal by the federal government – because it can be difficult and frustrating to get marijuana from legally licensed medicinal marijuana facilities.
He predicted the supply problem will only get worse once it’s legalized.