WHAT IS HAPPENING: One of our core objectives is to make medicinal cannabis available in a brick and mortar environment. Many patients visit or rely on dispensaries in their communities to supplement the shortcomings of the legal medical cannabis system/process.
In August 2017 Mr. Justice Lofchik of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice agreed and ordered that a local cannabis dispensary could remain open on the condition they sell cannabis only to patients with a valid medical document. While a full hearing on the government’s mail order system is pending, the order was a powerful statement on the pressing need for brick and mortar solutions for patients in the community.
As dispensaries are being targeted and forced to close, patients are desperate for the remaining few to continue operations under the Lofchik order. Cannabis lawyer Jack Lloyd argued the case and posited, you cannot prohibit dispensaries at a time when the government’s system is broken. In his case, Lloyd pointed out that in Allard v The Queen, Mr. Justice Phelan of the Federal Court said that dispensaries are at the heart of access and found the medical cannabis regime to be unconstitutional. In that case, the government did not appeal the decision but intended to fix the problem. It is not fixed and today the issue is escalating as three more medically-focused dispensaries in Hamilton are being shut down. The doors have been locked and staff members charged while some of those patients they served are left to panic.
WHAT CAN WE DO? Our legal team is seeking action in court on behalf of patients, to assist with making changes to the law allowing medically focused facilities to remain operational until a more permanent storefront solution can be worked out. We are collecting patient statements for this filing so if you or anyone you know is affected by these closures, and wants to submit their statement, please contact us and we can arrange a discussion.
You can also share share share! Please let your networks know about MMW, what we are trying to do and encourage people to speak up! They can contact us, become ambassadors, submit a patient statement or story, contact councillors or send a letter through our campaign.
WHY HAMILTON? Hamilton is home. MMW was born here and this city is home to many who are at additional risk if they can’t access their medication. This isn’t just an issue happening in Hamilton either, but the changes made here can be an example for communities across the country! We’ve spoken to patients who rely on dispensaries because:
- they have no fixed address (homeless, shelters, hospitalized, assisted living)
- have no access to the internet or computer to place online orders (computer literacy is also a challenge)
- urgently need a product and can’t wait for delivery/reorder
- are travelling (and don’t have the ability to get their delivery changed from their permanent address)
- do not have a credit card or the ability to make purchases
- can’t afford minimum purchases
Your voices are needed and we are counting on your support. If you have any questions or just want to say hello, please reach out to us!