As a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Saskatoon was raided this past week, one man is trying to set up a dispensary in Regina.
Pat Warnecke has been working within in the medicinal marijuana system for a while. He said he was trying to become a licensed producer for several years, but when that didn’t go anywhere he began trying to set up a store.
Warnecke is heartened by the Liberal party coming into power in the federal government, as their campaign promises included loosening marijuana laws.
He said he has a place for the dispensary already.
“We’re just trying to get our location set up, do the renovations and buy some time, I guess, until (the federal government) figures out what they’re going to do, and just help the people that need to be helped in the meantime.”
He is a patient himself and said he has been helping a few others get their medicine, because he says getting medicinal marijuana is “next to impossible,” thanks to how few licensed producers there are and the bureaucracy of getting registered with them.
Warnecke said his next step is checking in with the City of Regina to see if they’ll allow him to set up shop.
“We have to lobby the city and see what their stance is on it, if it’s going to be outright rejection, or status quo, or acceptance and regulation.”
Though he said he hasn’t gotten much of a response from the city or the Regina Police Service.
“Looks like it’s kind of a status quo-type position they have right now, but we want to get an answer somewhere or other on record.”
He’s planning to be at the next city council meeting.
According to Warnecke, there are hundreds of people in Regina who need medicinal marijuana. And they want to go somewhere clean and professional to get their product.
When it comes to the raid on the Saskatoon compassion club, Warnecke said that not knowing exactly what the owners of the shop were doing, he couldn’t speculate.
“Obviously I’d like to hope that the police were a little more compassionate to sick people, if they were only helping sick people and there was no organized crime ties, or any other kind of funny things going on that we don’t know about behind the scenes.”
If and when Warnecke sets up his shop, he said he hopes the police in Regina have a different attitude.