Dispensary cautions raised at Langley Township council

The Township “hasn’t had any experience” of rapid growth in either marijuana or methadone dispensaries, says planning GM Ramin Seifi.

As far as anyone can tell, Langley Township hasn’t experienced a sudden growth in businesses dispensing medicinal marijuana and methadone.

Councillor Charlie Fox would like to keep it that way.

Fox raised the issue at the Monday afternoon meeting of Township council, referring to the “sudden surge” of marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver and an increase in the number of pharmacies dispensing methadone “next door,” an apparent reference to Langley City.

Ten of the 12 pharmacies in the City currently dispense methadone, more than triple the number a year ago.

The City recently learned that its bylaw banning methadone dispensation without supervision by the Fraser Health Authority violates Canada’s Charter of Rights, and is not enforceable.

Langley City began on Monday to take steps to rectify the issue, giving first and second reading to a bylaw amending its zoning regulations.

Heroin addicts who replace the drug with liquid methadone usually take it daily, a $20 profit for the pharmacy each time because it can charge a dispensing fee plus a fee for watching the person take their dose.

A 2011-12 report from the Provincial Health Officer shows the number of pharmacies dispensing methadone has more than doubled in B.C. since 2001-02 when the government made changes to PharmaCare coverage of methadone.

The Downtown Langley Business Association has expressed fears the city will become a hub for methadone dispensing in the Lower Mainland.

Vancouver is struggling with an increase in unlicensed marijuana dispensaries over the last three years, from 20 to 94.

The city is looking at new regulations that would include a $30,000 annual fee, and a requirement that stores must be 300 metres away from schools and community centres.

Fox said the Township should find out what measures other communities are taking to deal with methadone and marijuana dispensaries before it becomes a problem locally.

Staff will investigate and report back to council, but it doesn’t appear there is a serious problem. Ramin Seifi, the municipal general manager of Engineering and Community Development, told council the Township “hasn’t had any experience” of rapid growth in either type of dispensary.

Seifi said municipalities cannot prohibit dispensaries, only regulate them.

Councillor Angie Quaale sounded a note of caution, saying Township pharmacies are dispensing methadone to patients, some of them people “arriving in BMWs” and she is not convinced more regulation by the municipality is needed.

— with files from Brenda Anderson and Monique Tamminga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

$18 million Aldergrove amenity seen as unfair for other Township communities

An unanimous council voted in favour of Councillor Eric Woodward’s policy to provide downtown Aldergrove with more resources.

Neighbour recounts ‘fifteen minutes of insanity’ after deck collapses at Aldergrove wedding

Local resident Charles Ford ran over to the dozens wounded, along with many other neighbours

High school mechanics get ‘huge head start’

The ACSS apprentices will showcase their work at this year’s Country Car Show in Aldergrove.

Wagner Hills brotherhood celebrates Easter hope

Five churches collaborated on Good Friday this year to present Stations of the Cross.

Langley pedophile wins appeal after violating court order

Kelly Glen Isbister’s sentence was cut by the BC Court of Appeal

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Loud jets from Abbotsford are annoying residents of tiny U.S. town

Flights out of Abbotsford airport turn over border town and annoy residents, Sumas mayor says

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

VIDEO: Spiderman-clad Lamborghini makes pit stop in Abbotsford ahead of Avengers premiere

Highstreet Shopping Centre displaying unique car during Friday’s opening of Marvel movie

Most Read