The City of Vancouver has filed injunctions against 17 pot shops to force them to close, as it continues enforcing its new bylaws for marijuana dispensaries.
Under new city rules, all dispensaries must be in commercial zones, at least 300 metres from schools, community centres, neighbourhood houses and other approved pot shops.
But when those new rules came into force on April 29, more than half the pot shops in Vancouver had failed to meet the new regulations and faced daily fines of $250 or legal action if they stayed open.
While 31 stores closed down, the City says 55 remained open regardless; on Tuesday, the City finally took legal action to close down 17 of them.
According to a release, the City prioritized which pot shops to hit with injunctions based on their proximity to other stores which, unlike those facing legal action, are approved for development permits.
The City claims some of the pot shops facing an injunction regularly generated noise and nuisance complaints and have been uncooperative with City inspection staff.
Daily Hive is reaching out to those pot shops for comment.
The city introduced the new rules in a bid to regulate the rapid spread of medical marijuana dispensaries across the city, even though they technically remain illegal under federal law.
In a historic pot shop moment, the City of Vancouver issued its first ever business licence for a medical marijuana dispensary, The Wealth Shop, in May.
The store, nestled along a strip mall at 104-4545 West 10th Avenue, is having its grand opening on Wednesday.
Here’s a full list of all the marijuana dispensaries facing an injunction from the City:
Under the new city rules, all dispensaries must go through three stages, first going through a preliminary application to be deemed to be in a commercial zone, meeting the requirements laid out above.
Once they passed that stage, they then had to apply for a development permit, followed by a business licence at a cost of $30,000 for retail stores or $1000 for compassion clubs.
Here’s a full update of where Vancouver’s pot shops stand, as of May 31, according to the City:
One thing worth noting for clarity here – some rejected shops may have relocated and been approved in a separate application. This is estimated to make up only a small proportion of applications, but figures on this were not available.
A map showing the locations of all those stores eligible to apply for or issued with a business licence, can be found on the City of Vancouver website: vancouver.ca