EDITORIAL: ‘Parksville pot’

It seemed like a minor housekeeping issue, a tweak to the City of Parksville’s bylaws to ensure it conformed with new federal regulations.

It seemed like a minor housekeeping issue at the council meeting Monday night, a tweak to the City of Parksville’s bylaws to ensure it conformed with new federal regulations.

Within a few hours, news from Washington state made it seem like a much bigger deal, perhaps the opening of some doors for economic opportunity.

Or a quagmire of moral and safety issues, depending on your view of these matters.

The city conducted a public hearing Monday night related to bylaws that will “implement regulations to address the accommodation of Health Canada-licensed medical marijuana facilities.”

Not one person sent the city a written comment about the two bylaws. Not one person stepped to the microphone Monday night to make any comment about the bylaws. The public hearing lasted less than five minutes.

Hours later, the first retail outlets to sell marijuana in Washington state opened, about two years after voters there legalized recreational use. The outlets will get licenses from the state’s Liquor Control Board and it’s estimated there will be more than 300 of those licences issued.

Roughly half a dozen shops opened Tuesday. According to some media reports, 150 people were lined up at a Bellingham shop at 8 a.m.

Which raises the issue of supply, or lack of it. The CBC reported one licensed Tacoma shop wasn’t able to open because the owner couldn’t get enough pot from growers and processors.

It would be a tricky piece of business for governments to allow a Canadian medical marijuana grower to supply Washington outlets that supply recreational users. However, money talks, and governments of all levels like revenue of any kind.

Could we see a day when a truck pulls up to a Parksville warehouse, fills its hold with marijuana and delivers the product to Bellingham or Tacoma? It’s not out of the question.

Parksville has cleared the regulatory way for medical marijuana growers to set up shop here. That business alone could be lucrative for some entrepreneur. Add the Washington supply factor, and the profit potential becomes ridiculously high, if you’ll pardon the pun.

It will be interesting to watch what comes in the months and years ahead. Perhaps ‘Parksville Pot’ becomes a household term south of the border.

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