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Vancouver Grants Its First Marijuana Dispensary License


Vancouver grants its first marijuana dispensary license

Last week, The Wealth Shop, located just outside the gates of the University of British Columbia in the upscale neighborhood of Point Grey, received Vancouver’s first license to operate for a cannabis business. As a for-profit dispensary, the as-yet-unopened store must pay an annual licensing fee of $30,000 to the City of Vancouver. The majority of existing pot shops operate as “compassion clubs,” which require a $1,000 fee to obtain a license. Currently, both types of dispensaries still operate outside the federal government’s medical marijuana program.


Councillor Kerry Jang (the Vision Vancouver party’s lead on cannabis issues) told the CBCthat the granting of the first medical marijuana business license is “exciting” and that “it shows that the bylaws we created are working. We have another two [stores] under final review. There’s another 21 shops across the city in the first stage of the development permit.”

The CBC also reports:

Last month close to 100 medical marijuana stores were ordered closed, primarily for contravening the distance requirement that demands they be at least 300 metres away from a school or community centre.

Jang says only 30 of those stores have complied, while another 61 continue to operate illegally.

One-hundred-and-thirty-nine $250-tickets have been issued to shops that refuse to close. Only seven of those tickets have been paid.

Jang says ticketing is only the first step in forcing bylaw-flouting pot shops to shut down.

Jang contends Vancouver’s medical marijuana licensing process is proving to be well conceived, and that other Canadian cities, including Toronto, are now studying the regulations.

“We’re actually bringing some order to the mess that it was,” said Jang.

Original article via The Cannabist