Pot Compassion Clubs May Get to Stay Put Despite Vancouver’s New Dispensary Rules

The city’s oldest marijuana compassion clubs and other non-profit dispensaries may be able to sidestep the city’s new bylaw that restricts them from being near schools and community centres.

Councillor Kerry Jang, Vision Vancouver’s spokesman on marijuana issues, has said new rules barring any pot shops within 300 metres of schools, community centres or other similar stores will apply to all Vancouver’s existing 100 dispensaries. This could mean up to two-thirds may have to move to secure a special new business licence.

He reiterated on Friday that council will not grandfather in non-profit dispensaries and compassion clubs. However, later that day, Mr. Jang said there is a way for them to remain in their current locations. In a meeting with representatives from the B.C. Compassion Club Society and long-time cannabis activist Dana Larsen, who runs two of Vancouver’s oldest non-profit dispensaries, he explained how they can apply to the Board of Variance for special permission to stay within the buffer zones imposed by city staff.

“I’d like to see them survive, but really it’s up to the Board of Variance and I have no say there,” Mr. Jang said.

All prospective business licensees must first apply for a development permit, but if they are rejected they can appeal to the independent five-person board, he said.

– Read the entire article at The Globe and Mail.