Vancouver Coastal Overall health, supporting the initiative, will aid in offering the supplies for absolutely free, via the BC Centre for Illness Handle.

Vancouver Coastal Overall health, the regional well being authority that delivers well being solutions to Higher Vancouver, has begun supporting the The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary (TMCD), in the Downtown Eastside, in their work to supply substantially-necessary harm reduction solutions and supplies for absolutely free, in a single of the regions hardest hit by the opioid crisis.

The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary at 880 East Hastings delivers a absolutely free drug-checking service as element of its Get Your Drugs Tested (GYDT) harm reduction plan and it will quickly be offering absolutely free supplies for safer drug use such as clean needles and alcohol swabs, in addition to supplies to encourage safer sex like male and female condoms and lubrication

The absolutely free drug tests are obtainable seven days a week by means of drop-in and are carried out on an FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared) spectroscopy machine, and if you cannot be there in particular person, you can also send your substances by means of the mail.

Dori Dempster, the executive director of The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary, told CLN that:

“We are the initial private group, to my understanding, to obtain a drug testing machine like this and provide not only the drug test service, but the benefits of these tests to the common public.

It is not just about the occasional undesirable dope alert persons are in fact capable to go on the net and see what a lot of unique substances are coming up as.” 

Dori stated the partnership came about following a discussion with officials from Vancouver Coastal Overall health and the BC Centre for Illness Handle (BCCDC), which runs the distribution plan for harm reduction supplies.

VCH spokesperson Tiffany Akins told CLN that “Vancouver Coastal Overall health is operating to set [TMCD] up with supplies from the BC Centre for Illness Control”, saying:

” We want persons making use of drugs to have access to harm reduction supplies so we have told The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary it can’t charge consumers for these supplies.

Dori confirmed that they are now supplying the drug test service and supplies for absolutely free.

[Editor’s note: previously, Get Your Drugs Tested asked for $5 donation to help cover the costs of running the drug tests.]

The assistance from VCH and BCCDC was a welcome surprise for Dori and the Get Your Drugs Tested group, as she stated:

“When we initial began this plan for Get Your Drugs Tested, we totally anticipated to be funding this completely on our personal.”

Testing MDMA, cocaine… and Viagra?

If you have ever wondered how pure the MDMA or cocaine is in Canada, the GYDT test benefits supply a fascinating appear that the public usually does not get to see due to the fact normally, when the media talks about the tainted drug provide, it is with blanket warnings that contaminated street drugs are becoming discovered.

In comparison, GYDT can show you on a case by case basis what’s in the substance becoming tested. The test benefits are then posted on the net exactly where anybody can see them, and in a way, GYDT delivers a compact snapshot of the drug provide in Vancouver and the rest of Canada that with a information set that updates each day. In the couple of months that the plan has been operating, it has currently received and analyzed hundreds of samples.

And it is not just cocaine and MDMA that is becoming tested either. Dori says that you’d be shocked how often persons send in Viagra.

As she says:

“We’re usually testing Viagra! Whilst some persons do not believe of Viagra as a celebration drug, a lot of persons use it recreationally and it is intriguing to see the test benefits of that small blue pill due to the fact often you are seeing that it is 70% of Sildenafil, the active ingredient, and other occasions, it can be as low as five%- with the rest becoming caffeine.”

She stresses that “regardless of what you are undertaking, you want to get what you are paying for and that is why persons are bringing it in.”

“Get Your Drugs Tested” coming to a town close to you

If you are not in the Vancouver region, your only choice at the moment is the mail-order service, but Dori hopes with the obtain of a second FTIR machine, that will quickly adjust.

As she stated:

“It will enable us to have a single machine onsite and a single that will travel about and do testing at festivals and other neighborhood events about the area.”

But the Get Your Drugs Tested plan has currently been outdoors of BC as they have been invited to supply their solutions at the July five Awake Astral Harvest close to Edmonton, Alberta.

As word spreads about the nation, the future of GYDT is clear for Dori:

“Our ultimate plans are to be obtainable to any neighborhood in Canada who desires to have us- we just have to figure out how to get there.”

Does the harm reduction plan influence TMCD‘s battle with the city to sell cannabis?

The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary has two places in Vancouver- the Hastings place we’ve talked so substantially about, and an additional in the West Finish on Thurlow- but only the Hastings place has been designated a satellite harm reduction centre due to the fact that is exactly where they’re undertaking the testing and offering the absolutely free harm reduction supplies.

The Hastings place ceased all cannabis sales on June five, whilst the Thurlow place continues to supply members with the substantially-necessary cannabis goods that are increasingly difficult to locate as cannabis access in Vancouver continues to get worse and worse.

Dori says what they’re undertaking at the Hastings place suggests they do not have to be concerned about the authorities coming in and shutting them down as what they’re undertaking there is “firmly in the harm reduction region, which is genuinely very good news for us and harm reduction general.”

But she recognizes the weird position that TMCD is in as they fight the City of Vancouver to remain open as a cannabis dispensary whilst at the exact same time getting so substantially assistance from Vancouver Coastal Overall health for their harm reduction efforts.

As she explained:

“We’re in a court battle and we have to wait for to finish just before we know no matter whether the dispensary will ever be a dispensary once more.

We’re going to take that element as it comes due to the fact if we ever got permission to place the dispensary back into the Hastings place, I think it is anything that we’d want to do due to the fact it is our roots.”

But even with the assistance of Vancouver Coastal Overall health and the BC Centre for Illness Handle, Dori says that they nonetheless have perform to do to aid officials recognize the partnership in between cannabis and harm reduction, like cannabis’ prospective in treating opioid withdrawals, for instance.

As Dori points out:

Cannabis is a substantially safer decision for persons as far as recreational substances go. I’m excited due to the fact the conversation is altering and we get to preserve undertaking very good in our neighborhood.”

And there are indicators that factors are altering.

“We’re becoming recognized as a exceptional and “novel” service and I believe it is a extremely very good sign of what’s to come.”

Background

Back in Might 2019, TMCD owner Dana Larsen launched Get Your Drugs Tested, a drug test plan exactly where anybody could send in a compact sample- about 1 milligram or .01 grams- of a substance in the mail to be tested in an FTIR machine. The benefits are then emailed back to the sender and also posted on the net. 

On June five, The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary ceased cannabis sales at its 880 East Hastings St. place to comply with a court order and because then, TMCD has expanded the attain of the Get Your Drugs Tested plan to drop-in drug tests at the Hastings place, in addition to the mail-order service currently obtainable Canada-wide.

Featured image courtesy of Rafal Gerzsak and the Globe and Mail.

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