VI. GENERAL DISPENSARY RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Accountability and Transparency
In order to ensure that distributors are not accused of profiteering, it is
recommended that dispensaries ensure transparency, openness, financial
accountability, and mechanisms for client feedback. Non-profit incorporation is
one way of meeting these criteria.
2. Applicable Regulations and Laws
Dispensaries must be in compliance with all applicable regulations including:
zoning, health and safety codes, labour standards, and WCB employment and
3. Community Relations
Dispensaries are responsible for any related impact on their neighbours and
local communities. It is recommended that they maintain a clean, friendly,
well-lit and safe store-front, and have open communication with applicable
neighbourhood businesses, organizations, associations, individuals, and social
a. Training and Experience
Proper staff training is essential to providing effective health care. Areas of
staff training should include: the effects of the variety of strains on different
symptoms and conditions, dosage, potency, tolerance, dependence, ingestion
techniques, side-effects, safe use techniques, potential drug interactions, and
visual/tactile quality inspections.
Employees of a cannabis dispensary should have basic first-aid training.
Experience with persons with disabilities, and an understanding of poverty and
the surrounding issues is also valuable.
b. Legal Understanding
While the legal status of medical cannabis remains in flux, it is crucial that
employees fully understand the legal risk they are undertaking to distribute
medical cannabis. They should be made aware of their legal rights in the case of
5. Health and Safety
Dispensaries must maintain a clean and safe environment. All WCB rules and
regulations, city by-laws and fire codes must be adhered to. Dispensaries
must be clean, follow universal precautions for infection control, and provide
restroom facilities. If there is a smoking-room at the facility, it should be wellventilated
and clients should be cautioned about sharing joints and provided
with sanitizing agents for pipes and vaporizers.
Ideally, medical cannabis dispensaries should be wheelchair accessible and
have a wheelchair accessible washroom. If this proves unfeasible, special
arrangements should be made to serve and accommodate the needs of members
who use wheelchairs. This could include a home delivery or caregiver pick-up
In order to provide a safe environment, and to avoid loss or damage to the
dispensary, security measures must be taken. Security measures for a medical
cannabis dispensary are the same as those necessary to safely and securely
operate any business dealing with a valuable product.
Physical measures include: adequate locks, security bars, an alarm system, and a
safe for storage of money and cannabis. It is imperative to use discretion when
discussing sensitive information, such as the identity and location of suppliers,
and details regarding the transportation of cash and cannabis.
8. Privacy and Confidentiality
All of the information provided by clients shall be kept strictly confidential and
the dispensary must not release any information about their clients without
their written consent. All staff, volunteers, consultants and directors of
dispensaries must sign non-disclosure agreements. The dispensary must act in
accordance with all relevant privacy regulations.