In a historic pot shop moment, the City of Vancouver has issued its first ever business licence for a medical marijuana dispensary, Vancity Buzz has confirmed.
Wealth Shop Society, due to open at 104-4545 West 10th Avenue in Point Grey, will dispense various dried cannabis strains and byproducts.
On its website, Wealth Shop says it has also partnered with health experts, including sports rehab experts Dr. Jeff Almon and Dr. Brandon Cross, and fitness coach Nico De Feo.
The issue of a business licence is the last stage in a process laid out by new city rules regulating marijuana dispensaries and compassion clubs introduced last year.
However, two-thirds of the Vancouver pot shops ordered to close down under the city’s new regulations are still operating, despite $250 per day fines, a city spokesperson confirmed.
Under the new rules, all dispensaries must be deemed to be in commercial zones, at least 300 metres from schools, community centres and other approved pot shops.
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.
The new laws entered into force on April 29, after which pot shops operating without meeting the new zoning laws faced fines or legal action.
At the time, it looked like almost 100 Vancouver pot shops would be forced to close.
However, as of May 17, a spokesperson for the City told Vancity Buzz that so far, only 30 have complied.
Some 61 pot shops are still operating regardless of the new regulations; 139 fines of $250 each have been issued and only seven fines paid.