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Medical marijuana growers call to expand mail order system for recreational use

Last Updated Jan 9, 2016 at 10:16 pm EDT

Medical marijuana growers say there’s a simple solution to fast-track selling recreational pot legally – mail it out.

Currently, medicinal marijuana can be sold by mail order to those with a prescription. Growers say a quick way to start selling it legally across the country would be to simply add recreational use to their distribution list.

During last year’s federal election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana to keep it out of the hands of children while denying criminals the financial profits.

However, the debate over how and where to sell it legally could bog down the the issue for years.

Cam Battley with Bedrocan Canada, one of Canada’s largest producers of medical marijuana, says that if the regulations changed they could be supplying consumers as early as tomorrow.

“Mail order is for medical cannabis but that system can be expanded very rapidly, even before the details are worked out with the provinces,” Battley explained.

He claims that expanding the mail order program would quickly tear a chunk out of the illegal market for marijuana and put a dent in the business done by illegal dispensaries across the countries.

On Friday it was announced that former Toronto police chief and now Scarborough Southwest MPP Bill Blair will be taking charge of the Trudeau government’s plan to legalize marijuana.

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Battley said he’s pleased with the decision to make Toronto’s former top cop the head of this project, calling him the “ideal choice.”

“He’s somebody who knows the issue up and down and will take a thoughtful, balanced and mature approach to figuring out how to do this and do it right and do it safely,” he said.

To develop a strategy, Blair will likely have to sit down with officials from law enforcement, health care and provincial governments, and study rules in other jurisdictions that have already legalized the drug.

Battley says he plans to meet with the federal task force next month and will be making recommendations to Blair to expand their home delivery system.

“The recommendations that we’re going to be making to the federal government is that they consider legalizing cannabis on a fast track by allowing for an expanded mail order system,” he said.

“Canadians expect that when they buy milk or meat at the grocery store, that it will be regulated and they can trust it and the same thing goes for alcohol,” Battley explained. “The same thing should go for cannabis.”