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Medicinal Marijuana Dispensary Comes to Burnaby

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Burnaby's first medical marijuana dispensary opened at 10 a.m. Friday morning, and so far, things are going well, according to Metrotown Medicinal Society director Britney Anne.

"It's been great," she said in a phone interview Friday afternoon. "We've got five members so far."

The society invited the Burnaby RCMP to the opening, to address any concerns law enforcement might have, she said, but officers did not attend.

The dispensary only accepts members who have a doctor's recommendation or confirmation of a serious illness, which is in line with other dispensaries in B.C., she said.

"We aren't selling to just anybody," she said, but added that the dispensary has an unlimited capacity to serve any valid patients who wish to apply. "But we do follow correct procedures."

The society was originally looking at setting up shop in New West, but chose the Burnaby property at 4927 Kingsway based on its central location and proximity to the Metrotown SkyTrain Station, Anne said.

There are two dispensaries in Vancouver, but patients from Coquitlam, New Westminster, Surrey, and other suburbs have difficulty traveling that distance, she explained.

"We serve a lot of disabled patients," Anne said, and added that not all of the members are able to drive.

The Metrotown dispensary is the first to be located near a SkyTrain line, she said.

The society is considering expanding to New Westminster next, Anne added.

Dana Larsen, who is currently a candidate in the B.C. New Democrat leadership race, is a director with the society, and operates the Vancouver Medical Cannabis Dispensary with two locations in Vancouver.

The first is in East Vancouver and the second opened about a year ago in Vancouver's West End, he said.

"It's gone very smoothly," he said of the two dispensaries, adding the society serves about 3,000 patients.

The East Vancouver dispensary has a very good relationship with the nearby Ray Cam Community Centre, he said, and just received a letter of thanks for a food drive done on behalf of the centre.

Larsen is also on the board of a society that opened a dispensary in Maple Ridge, he said.

There, people were initially concerned about the effect the dispensary might have on a neighbourhood where drug crime had only recently been reduced, according to Larsen.

"Within a couple of weeks, we won our detractors over," he said, adding the dispensary's director is now a Block Watch captain in his neighbourhood. "They see how important we are to the community."

He expects the same reception in Burnaby, he said.

The Metrotown Medicinal Society is located at 4927 Kingsway and is open from 10a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 11a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: burnabynow.com
Author: Janaya Fuller-Evans
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Website: Medicinal marijuana dispensary comes to Burnaby
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