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.
Full list of pot shops facing legal action
Here’s a full list of all the marijuana dispensaries facing an injunction from the City:
- The Healing Tree – 8180 Champlain Crescent
- Cannabis Culture / The Healing Tree – 512 Beatty Street
- Divine Ventures – 8640 Granville Street
- Weeds Glass & Gifts – 1232 Burrard Street
- Weeds Glass & Gifts – 1108 Richards Street
- Weeds Glass & Gifts – 104 – 1807 Burrard Street
- Weeds Glass & Gifts – 405 Skeena Street
- Vancity Medicinals – 1299 Kingsway
- Weeds Glass & Gifts – 6657 Main Street
- Weeds Glass & Gifts – 2580 Kingsway
- Imedikate – 6128 Fraser Street
- Green Cross Society BC – 2145 Kingsway
- Lotusland Cannabis Club – 3474 W. Broadway
- Health Lifestyle Dispensary – 1092 Kingsway
- Sea to Sky Dispensary & Lounge – 100 – 68 E. 2nd Avenue
- BC Pain Society – 2908 Commercial Drive
- Buddha’s Sister – House of Cannabis – 2918 W. 4th Avenue
Full pot shops figures update
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:
Stage 1 – preliminary application
- 176 pot shops made preliminary application
- The city told us about a third of these applications were in fact from shops which had not yet opened. It is not clear whether these have since opened or not.
- 140 were rejected and asked to close within six months. Here’s a full list.
- 62 appealed (Daily Hive is seeking updated figures for how many of these have been rejected, approved, deferred, withdrawn, or still have hearings scheduled)
- 11 pot shops caught in 4 cluster situations (within 300 m of each other) were subject to random draws – of these 5 pot shops were selected
- 86 businesses open after April 29 without an approved preliminary application were ordered to close.
- 17 are facing legal action from the City
- 246 daily bylaw violation tickets of $250 have been issued
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.
Stage 2 – development permit
- In its latest update, the city did not confirm how many pot shops made it to this stage. It provided information on only 22 stores.
- 11 have been granted development permit
- 11 have applications under review
Stage 3 – business license
- 12 pot shops made it to this stage, the City has confirmed
- 3 pot shops have applications for a business licence under review
- 1 pot shop – The Wealth Shop – has been issued with a business licence
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