Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley calls for a crackdown on illegal marijuana dispensaries

News Sep 25, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley is calling for a crackdown on marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Conley’s motion requesting the city and Hamilton Police enforce the Narcotics Act, scheduled to be discussed at the Sept. 27 council meeting, comes just after the recent opening of a marijuana dispensary near downtown Stoney Creek.

Wellness Glass Dispensary Co. at 91 King St. has seen a steady flow of customers with vehicles arriving and leaving with regularity during its operating hours.

“There is a problem in my ward,” said Conley. “I’m getting complaints.”

He said he watched for over an hour as 50 cars arrived and left the business located in a residential neighbourhood beside the Attic Pizza Parlour restaurant.

“I have people walking down the street with children,” he said. “(The owners of the dispensary) are disregarding the neighbourhood.”

Conley had proposed introducing his motion earlier this month, but waited until the Hamilton Police Service reviewed it.

The dispensary, which is located out of house where a dog training service had been operating, was busy when a reporter for the Stoney Creek News visited. People were lined up waiting to purchase what was a variety of marijuana offerings that were displayed behind a glass area.

A call to speak to the owner of the dispensary to talk about his business was not returned.

Doug Sutherland, executive director of the Stoney Creek Business Improvement Area, is encouraging Conley and politicians to ask the police to enforce the current rules on what they say is an illegal business.

“We do not support it as it is an illegal operation” said Sutherland in an email.

Other Hamilton BIAs have urged the city and the Hamilton Police Service to step up enforcement of marijuana dispensaries across the city.

The city has laid 45 noncompliance zoning notifications, and there are 25 zoning charges before the courts against dispensaries. According to staff there are 19 illegal marijuana dispensaries operating in the city after bylaw officials closed 10.

At the start of 2017, city staff informed councillors that licensing and bylaw officials would investigate 15 known storefront pot sellers. The get-tough approach to marijuana dispensaries by the city was prompted by the city’s BIAs who have been fielding complaints from their membership about the problems the dispensaries have attracted within their neighbourhoods.

“We are in full agreement with the other BIAs within the City of Hamilton that (there) needs to be (action) taken to close existing and any future illegal marijuana operations.”

Clint Younge, chief executive officer for MMJ Canada which operates a number of marijuana dispensaries across the city, including on Upper James, says there are some marijuana operators that are not following the rules. Still, he asked the city not to crack down on the businesses when he appeared before councillors on Sept. 20.

“I’m hoping when you put the motion that you speak to the authorities and speak about the enforcement and tell them there are different styles of dispensaries,” said Younge.

Ontario recently announced that sales of recreational marijuana will be restricted to 150 standalone LCBO-type stores when it is legalized for July 1, 2018, by the federal government. Younger is hopeful the province will allow local marijuana dispensaries to sell “craft” marijuana just like the province allows craft beer and wineries.

Hamilton Police Service Board Chair Lloyd Ferguson recently told the Dundas Star News he has already participated in a conference call with the province’s attorney general’s staff to discuss needed enforcement tools and resources to close illegal storefronts.

The federal government has already announced it will allocate up to $274 million to address cannabis enforcement.

Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley calls for a crackdown on illegal marijuana dispensaries

News Sep 25, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley is calling for a crackdown on marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Conley’s motion requesting the city and Hamilton Police enforce the Narcotics Act, scheduled to be discussed at the Sept. 27 council meeting, comes just after the recent opening of a marijuana dispensary near downtown Stoney Creek.

Wellness Glass Dispensary Co. at 91 King St. has seen a steady flow of customers with vehicles arriving and leaving with regularity during its operating hours.

“There is a problem in my ward,” said Conley. “I’m getting complaints.”

He said he watched for over an hour as 50 cars arrived and left the business located in a residential neighbourhood beside the Attic Pizza Parlour restaurant.

“I have people walking down the street with children,” he said. “(The owners of the dispensary) are disregarding the neighbourhood.”

Conley had proposed introducing his motion earlier this month, but waited until the Hamilton Police Service reviewed it.

The dispensary, which is located out of house where a dog training service had been operating, was busy when a reporter for the Stoney Creek News visited. People were lined up waiting to purchase what was a variety of marijuana offerings that were displayed behind a glass area.

A call to speak to the owner of the dispensary to talk about his business was not returned.

Doug Sutherland, executive director of the Stoney Creek Business Improvement Area, is encouraging Conley and politicians to ask the police to enforce the current rules on what they say is an illegal business.

“We do not support it as it is an illegal operation” said Sutherland in an email.

Other Hamilton BIAs have urged the city and the Hamilton Police Service to step up enforcement of marijuana dispensaries across the city.

The city has laid 45 noncompliance zoning notifications, and there are 25 zoning charges before the courts against dispensaries. According to staff there are 19 illegal marijuana dispensaries operating in the city after bylaw officials closed 10.

At the start of 2017, city staff informed councillors that licensing and bylaw officials would investigate 15 known storefront pot sellers. The get-tough approach to marijuana dispensaries by the city was prompted by the city’s BIAs who have been fielding complaints from their membership about the problems the dispensaries have attracted within their neighbourhoods.

“We are in full agreement with the other BIAs within the City of Hamilton that (there) needs to be (action) taken to close existing and any future illegal marijuana operations.”

Clint Younge, chief executive officer for MMJ Canada which operates a number of marijuana dispensaries across the city, including on Upper James, says there are some marijuana operators that are not following the rules. Still, he asked the city not to crack down on the businesses when he appeared before councillors on Sept. 20.

“I’m hoping when you put the motion that you speak to the authorities and speak about the enforcement and tell them there are different styles of dispensaries,” said Younge.

Ontario recently announced that sales of recreational marijuana will be restricted to 150 standalone LCBO-type stores when it is legalized for July 1, 2018, by the federal government. Younger is hopeful the province will allow local marijuana dispensaries to sell “craft” marijuana just like the province allows craft beer and wineries.

Hamilton Police Service Board Chair Lloyd Ferguson recently told the Dundas Star News he has already participated in a conference call with the province’s attorney general’s staff to discuss needed enforcement tools and resources to close illegal storefronts.

The federal government has already announced it will allocate up to $274 million to address cannabis enforcement.

Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley calls for a crackdown on illegal marijuana dispensaries

News Sep 25, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley is calling for a crackdown on marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Conley’s motion requesting the city and Hamilton Police enforce the Narcotics Act, scheduled to be discussed at the Sept. 27 council meeting, comes just after the recent opening of a marijuana dispensary near downtown Stoney Creek.

Wellness Glass Dispensary Co. at 91 King St. has seen a steady flow of customers with vehicles arriving and leaving with regularity during its operating hours.

“There is a problem in my ward,” said Conley. “I’m getting complaints.”

He said he watched for over an hour as 50 cars arrived and left the business located in a residential neighbourhood beside the Attic Pizza Parlour restaurant.

“I have people walking down the street with children,” he said. “(The owners of the dispensary) are disregarding the neighbourhood.”

Conley had proposed introducing his motion earlier this month, but waited until the Hamilton Police Service reviewed it.

The dispensary, which is located out of house where a dog training service had been operating, was busy when a reporter for the Stoney Creek News visited. People were lined up waiting to purchase what was a variety of marijuana offerings that were displayed behind a glass area.

A call to speak to the owner of the dispensary to talk about his business was not returned.

Doug Sutherland, executive director of the Stoney Creek Business Improvement Area, is encouraging Conley and politicians to ask the police to enforce the current rules on what they say is an illegal business.

“We do not support it as it is an illegal operation” said Sutherland in an email.

Other Hamilton BIAs have urged the city and the Hamilton Police Service to step up enforcement of marijuana dispensaries across the city.

The city has laid 45 noncompliance zoning notifications, and there are 25 zoning charges before the courts against dispensaries. According to staff there are 19 illegal marijuana dispensaries operating in the city after bylaw officials closed 10.

At the start of 2017, city staff informed councillors that licensing and bylaw officials would investigate 15 known storefront pot sellers. The get-tough approach to marijuana dispensaries by the city was prompted by the city’s BIAs who have been fielding complaints from their membership about the problems the dispensaries have attracted within their neighbourhoods.

“We are in full agreement with the other BIAs within the City of Hamilton that (there) needs to be (action) taken to close existing and any future illegal marijuana operations.”

Clint Younge, chief executive officer for MMJ Canada which operates a number of marijuana dispensaries across the city, including on Upper James, says there are some marijuana operators that are not following the rules. Still, he asked the city not to crack down on the businesses when he appeared before councillors on Sept. 20.

“I’m hoping when you put the motion that you speak to the authorities and speak about the enforcement and tell them there are different styles of dispensaries,” said Younge.

Ontario recently announced that sales of recreational marijuana will be restricted to 150 standalone LCBO-type stores when it is legalized for July 1, 2018, by the federal government. Younger is hopeful the province will allow local marijuana dispensaries to sell “craft” marijuana just like the province allows craft beer and wineries.

Hamilton Police Service Board Chair Lloyd Ferguson recently told the Dundas Star News he has already participated in a conference call with the province’s attorney general’s staff to discuss needed enforcement tools and resources to close illegal storefronts.

The federal government has already announced it will allocate up to $274 million to address cannabis enforcement.