9 more Vancouver pot shops can apply for business licence

Dec 19 2017, 9:57 pm

Nine more medical marijuana dispensaries are now eligible to apply for a business licence in Vancouver and two have already done so, the City confirmed Thursday.

In a historic pot shop moment earlier this week, the City confirmed it had issued its first ever business licence to Wealth Shop Society, due to open in Point Grey.


In a release, the City did not give the addresses of the pot shops which have applied for a business licence.

However, the nine that are eligible to apply – plus the Wealth Shop – can be seen on a City map, embedded below.

5 more potential pot shops revealed

The city did provide the details of five pot shops which were successfully selected at random after being previously caught in four separate cluster situations.

This process applied to pot shops which were deemed to be in a commercial zone, but were less than 300 metres from each other, so are then selected at random instead.

The five that were successfully selected and can now apply for a development permit are:

  • 5055 Victoria Drive – The Herb Co. Kensington
  • 610 Robson Street – Vancity Weed Dispensary Inc.
  • 3727 W. 10th Avenue – Lotusland West Point Cannabis Society
  • 1712 W 4th Avenue – Apollo Medical
  • 1952 W 4th Avenue – Lotusland Cannabis Society

New rules mean massive closures

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.

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.

Here’s a full breakdown of the pot shop situation, correct as of May 19, according to the city:

Stage 1 – preliminary application

  • 176 pot shops made preliminary application
  • The city told Vancity Buzz 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 (the city did not provide updated results of those hearings)
  • 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.
  • 8 pot shops are still stuck in 3 more cluster situations.

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 21 shops.
  • 10 were granted a development permit
  • 11 have applications under review

Stage 3 – business license

  • 10 pot shops made it to his stage
  • 1 pot shop – Wealth Shop Society – has been issued with a business licence
  • 2 have applications under review
  • 7 dispensaries have not yet applied for a business licence

Pot shop closures

  • 91 businesses were ordered to close
  • 30 pot shops have since closed down
  • 61 pot shops are still operating despite being ordered to close
  • 20 stores are still operating because they are caught in clusters or are still working their way through the process
  • 139 tickets of $250 have been issued
  • 7 tickets have been paid

Only 10 pot shops on map

Finally, here’s a map from the City of Vancouver, showing the 10 pot shops that have made it to the final stage of the process or beyond so far.

Green pins mark pot shops with a business licence, blue pins mark pot shops now eligible to apply for a business licence after attaining a development permit.

(Note – this map may be updated in future to show more pot shops, or successful business licences granted, if further dispensaries are approved.)

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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