CANNABIS CULTURE – The City of Vancouver wants all medical marijuana dispensaries that aren’t taking part in its new regulatory scheme to close their doors by April 29, but critics say the date poses problems.
“A lot of our members, their board of variance meetings are not until May, June, or July,” President of the Canadian Association of Medicinal Cannabis Dispensaries Jamie Shaw told the Georgia Straight. “They are scrambling right now. They are trying to do everything they can to comply with everything. But at the same time, they have BOV [board of variance]inspections scheduled for dates after they are supposed to close.”
Vancouver City Hall received 176 applications for medical marijuana dispensaries, but only six have been approved, with 17 others under review that will likely be approved.
Many dispensaries that did not meet the new regulatory requirements – like being further than 300 meters away from a school or park – have applied to the Board of Variance to plead their cases for special permission to remain open.
Shaw said many of these dispensaries will be forced to keep paying rent, staff payroll, and other costs associated with running the businesses for months after the city wants them closed.
Andreea Toma, Vancouver’s director of licensing and property-use inspections, according to the Straight, “acknowledged some businesses will be left in limbo. She said that means storefronts that do continue to sell marijuana past the April 29 deadline will not necessarily see the Vancouver police charging through their doors on the morning of April 30.”
“That depends on the relationship that they’ve established with us over the last two months,” she said. “It’s based on the information that we have to date, in terms of what kind of an operation they are running.”
Medical marijuana dispensaries in Chilliwack and Abbotsford are also currently facing closer threats.