A group called the Coalition for Dispensary Free Communities is protesting Vancouver’s proposed regulations for marijuana dispensaries ahead of its June 10 public hearing.
Currently, there are over 90 medical marijuana dispensaries around the city — but there are only 16 licensed producers in Canada. The new regulations put forward in a report by the Vancouver’s chief license inspector proposes marijuana businesses to be at least 300 metres away from schools and community centres. Under the new regulations, the businesses will also require to pay an operating fee of $30,000 per year, as well as acquiring a “Good Neighbour Agreement.”
But the Coalition for Dispensary Free Communities does not believe the new regulations will help. On their website, they state the regulation changes will “will neither address the continued proliferation of nor prevent the negative impacts these businesses have in our community.”
The group is gathering signatures for a petition calling for the rejection of the proposed regulation changes, as well as law enforcement that would shut down the dispensaries.
“I’m signing because there is dispensary beside my daughter’s daycare (age 1-5 year olds),” writes someone on the petition webpage. “The people that frequent this place are shady, not interested in children safety and insist in lighting up in front, beside and behind her daycare within meters. Unacceptable.”
Recently, there have been a string of crimes attached to medical marijuana dispensaries, with owners of the businesses calling for more enforcement.
Last week, another group protesting the council’s proposed changes called on BC Hydro to turn off services to any dispensary businesses.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada also said they would not be attending council’s public hearing.
The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on June 10.