The first and only medical pot dispensary in the Tri-Cities is essentially no more.
While the Coquitlam Natural Path Society still has a storefront shop in Maillardville, it does not have any marijuana on site and will not dispense the drug, according to the owner.
For now, the society will keep the space open to be used as a resource of information for its clients.
The society's founder and president, Christopher MacLeod, said the withdrawal of services is a direct result of a decision last month by Coquitlam city council to ban unlicensed marijuana dispensaries in the city.
"Once council says no, to go against council at this point would be silly," he told The NOW, adding the dispensary won't be offering medication until it can get an actual licence.
In July, following a public hearing, Coquitlam city council voted unanimously to ban unlicensed marijuana dispensaries in the city and pass regulations on the location of federally licensed grow-ops.
MacLeod noted another member of the society will operate the space, but he's not sure what will happen to the office in the long term.
The plans are to keep an email address for the society in case someone needs a contact.
For MacLeod, it's a disappointing end to what was a hopeful venture just a couple of months ago.
He said the closure would likely force him into bankruptcy and back to regular work to help pay the bills.
MacLeod estimated he spent $10,000 getting the dispensary up and running.
However, he said it's the clients he's most disappointed for, suggesting they'll have to travel downtown Vancouver to get their medication - or turn to the streets.
"It's going to hurt a lot of people," MacLeod said.
In its short existence, the dispensary managed to sign up 140 clients.
MacLeod did, however, hint at what he called a "plan B" for his dispensary, but did not give any details.
The dispensary was open less than two months, but it certainly courted plenty of reaction and debate.
Neighbours in the Maillardville area came out in opposition to the location of the dispensary, while Coquitlam RCMP made a point of issuing a statement reminding the public there was no legal mechanism for the shop to operate.
Though council voted unanimously to ban the dispensary, the group voted to write a letter asking the federal government to establish the regulatory framework for the production and dispensing of medical marijuana.
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