The decision by one Halifax business to open up the sale of cannabis is being met with open arms by marijuana advocates.
Since Friday, Auntie’s Health and Wellness Centre on Barrington Street has been allowing anyone over the age of 19 to purchase marijuana products without a prescription. Something that’s currently illegal.
“This is something that has to happen,” said Chris Backer, vice chair of Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana.
“How many times can you have somebody come to you for help, when you’ve got it in your hand and you have to say, ‘sorry, I can’t help you.’”
WATCH: Halifax store opens doors, selling marijuana to anyone over 19
Backer said the group stands firmly behind the decision made by Shirley Martineau, owner of Auntie’s. He is hoping that other marijuana dispensaries in the region will follow in their footsteps.
“In the spring, anybody’s supposed to be able to have it anyways so what difference does it make,” he said.
“They’ve got no proven harms from it. There’s no actual dangers from using it. Of all the drugs anybody can use, prescribed by a doctor or not, it’s the most innocuous.”
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Chris Enns, owner of Farm Assists Cannabis Resource Centre on Gottingen Street, also agrees with the decision made by Martineau.
“I think it’s a very bold move. It certainly pushes forward in terms of ending prohibition,” Enns said. “It certainly increases access to those in the community. So I think it’s a good thing. Though, it certainly is a risky move.”
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At Farm Assists, Enns said a prescription is still required to use medical cannabis, something that won’t be changing anytime soon because Enns’ shop has been raided by police in the past.
He is still working to fight drug charges.
“Right now, I’m still facing three indictments before the court so I’m not going to push the bubble that far,” he said.
“There’s too many sick people that rely on us, for our services, so I want to make sure that they continue to have access today.”
Enns said there is an increasing number of dispensaries in Toronto and Vancouver that have also started to allow storefront access to cannabis.
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