A lack of oversight into who is growing medical cannabis and how much is being grown is allowing criminals to sell pot on the illegal market, according to police and pot activists.
That’s creating tension in residential neighbourhoods in Winnipeg where large amounts of plants are being grown and with medical marijuana users who say it’s not fair the laws meant to help people who need pot are being exploited for financial gain.
“The lack of oversight by Health Canada has allowed the system to be manipulated and abused by people who are only in it for their own personal benefit,” said cannabis activist and medical licence holder Steven Stairs.
There are nearly 34,000 Canadians with a licence to grow medical cannabis, including 11,000 in Ontario and a little more than 1,600 in Manitoba.
Health Canada doesn’t limit the amount of cannabis doctors can authorize for a patient’s use and Stairs says that opens the door for people to get medical licences to grow marijuana legally to skirt the system and sell it for profit.
“Over time, the allure, I would call it, of having a legitimate or legal protection under Health Canada’s medical marijuana access regulations to grow cannabis was a very tantalizing opportunity for organized crime and for those who are looking to profit off a system designed for sick people there,” said Stairs.
He says back in 2009 when he first got a…