Planning for Controversial Land Uses: The Case of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (MMDs) in Toronto
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Medical marijuana dispensaries (MMDs) have been opening in cities across Canada in response to changing legislation that supports the use of marijuana to treat certain health conditions. There currently is an absence of standard procedures for siting dispensaries that sell this controlled substance. Further confusing the issue is that the federal government has promoted the future decriminalization and legalization of marijuana for recreational use. With rapidly changing federal laws and provincial guidelines for medical and recreational marijuana use, there is a need to assess the impacts of MMDs at the municipal level both in terms of planning policies and practices that provide guidance for the siting of MMDs, and for balancing diverging expectations and reactions from multiple publics. This study discusses the findings of a case study of medical marijuana dispensaries in Toronto, Ontario. This study collected qualitative data about the existence and siting of this controversial land use from key informants working in Toronto as well as conducted a media analysis of recent MMD articles from two local newspapers. Findings highlight the multiple and competing perspectives of citizens, advocates and policy-makers with respect to MMDs and the public good. Findings also indicate that there was no public consultation before enforcement efforts against the MMDs. Future research directions and policy implications will be discussed.
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David Johnson (2018). Planning for Controversial Land Uses: The Case of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (MMDs) in Toronto. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13225