A compassion club in downtown Parksville is now distributing pot-based products.
Though Pheonix Pain Management Society said it won’t distribute medical marijuana from its Parksville site until the city is on board, managing director Akil Pessoa stocked the shelves Friday with cannabinoid (CBD) products. He said they will be available in-store this week.
“While the mayor (Marc Lefebvre) is still getting his head around THC, rather than wait, we’re just going to move forward,” said Pessoa.
He explains there are two main active ingredients in pot — THC and CBD. According to Pessoa, THC makes you feel “stoned” while cannabinoids don’t have the same psychoactive effect, therefore offering only the medical effects of medical marijuana. He said that makes it an appealing treatment option for medical purposes.
“The argument (about marijuana) is largely around THC and its psychoactive effects so if we remove that there’s no argument,” he said.
Asked if cannabinoids are illegal, Pessoa said “they shouldn’t be, I’ve never seen a law against it.”
The Government of Canada lists “cannabis, its preparations (and) derivatives” including cannabis, cannabidiol and cannabinol as Schedule II drugs.
Parksville’s chief of police Brian Hunter confirmed earlier this month “there is absolutely no mechanism in law in Canada, or anywhere, for (dispensaries/compassion clubs) to exist.”
Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre has repeatedly told The NEWS that he will follow direction from police in regards to Pheonix deeming the society “completely illegal.”
Pessoa and a handful of pot activists have held at least two protests at city hall demanding Lefebvre direct the local RCMP to shift police resources and priorities away from the society.
At the most recent Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce dinner, Hunter said he intends to host a meeting at the end of this month with mayors and area directors to see where they want policing efforts prioritized.
Pessoa said the store will offer CBD tinctures, salves, creams and even eye drops.
“We believe in progressing with the community at a rate of change they can be comfortable with … there’s no argument over CBD therapy and there’s no high associated with it so there shouldn’t be an issue,” he said. “While the issue of THC is in question, we still want to serve medicine to people.”
Pheonix Pain Management Society is located at 120 Middleton Avenue in Parksville.