Blog Canada Feature

Publishers Note: Dispense the Digest!

Ted Smith

This coming fall, everyone with the Cannabis Digest will be proud to be getting ready to print the publication’s 50th issue. With so much happening in the cannabis scene, it is exciting to have the opportunity to document the changes as we shift from prohibition to legalization. We feel our newspaper has a special place in the Canadian cannabis movement, and want to improve our publication to keep pace with the moving landscape.

One of the most important things we need to do is change the directory for dispensaries in Canada. When we started the Cannabis Digest there were only a handful of clubs in the country, and since many appeared to be poorly managed, we waited for a while before adding a new club to the back page. It was important for us to know that any compassion club listed in our paper had good customer services, acceptable products, and reasonable membership requirements.

CD 49 Page 43

In the last few years the number of dispensaries has exploded in Canada, with estimates of storefront operations between 350 and 400. Obviously we only have a fraction of them listed in the paper, and that is the first thing we want to change. While we cannot hope to get everyone listed, with your help we will gather an accurate list of dispensaries in Canada, with current information in the paper and menu online.

As of today, any dispensary that chooses to advertise in Cannabis Digest will get a listing in the paper, plus a bundle of 50 papers delivered to their club. For dispensaries with multiple storefronts, we charge additional $20 for every extra listed address, and deliver an additional bundle of 50 newspapers to that address. All dispensaries who advertize with us online, and all those paying to be listed in the newspaper, will be included in our on-line directory, linked to our main website.

This offer gives dispensaries an opportunity to gain exposure while providing their members with current information about issues that matter to patients and their caregivers. To this end, we are doing our best to keep prices down to make it affordable for people to do business with us. Since the Cannabis Digest was originally a newsletter for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, there has always been a focus on the legal and political issues that clubs face. The intent of this publication has always been to provide up-to-date information about the evolving cannabis scene. By helping link people to dispensaries, the Cannabis Digest will be a valuable resource for everyone in this industry.

Medicinal Cannabis DispensaryOur paper has few employees, and relies on volunteer writers and distributors. Thus in order for this change in advertizing policy to be successful, we need help connecting with new dispensaries, and reconnecting with older ones. Simply put, we cannot possibly contact all of the dispensaries currently operating. Thus we are reaching out to our readers. If you can approach the management of a dispensary with this offer on our behalf, you will be helping the newspaper, helping patients to gain access to clubs, and doing your part to bring the Cannabis Digest to new places. Of course it is our hope that all of our readers already feel they are benefitting.

While we do not blame the Licensed Producers for the problems with the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, we certainly know that dispensaries provide a better opportunity for patients to access the products and services they require. Even if we wanted to work with LPs, federal laws prohibit them from advertising with us. Until such time as the regulations restricting who can legally grow and sell cannabis are improved to allow easy access to small producers, this newspaper will focus on dispensaries and the people fighting for the right to grow, sell and use cannabis without overly-restrictive laws.

In addition to enhancing our directory, we will be making changes to both our on-line presence and the print copy. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to email them to me or otherwise let me know what you are thinking. It is impossible to fulfill everyone’s ideas and dreams with this paper, but CD is certainly the result of many people contributing, and we like to think we are flexible and ready to evolve as this new era of cannabis legalization dawns upon us.

Publishing the Cannabis Digest for over 10 years and reaching issue 50 will be one of the great accomplishments of my career thus far. As we prepare for this milestone, please consider joining our team by helping us distribute and share our work to those who might not have access to the internet, or lack the time to search out this valuable information. By working together we can help the Cannabis Digest lead the way towards a brighter future for the cannabis community.

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