Some Vancouver pot shops told to close ‘immediately’
Published Monday, October 26, 2015 2:28PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 27, 2015 7:31PM PDT
Vancouver has ordered all marijuana dispensaries that didn’t apply for a business licence by the August deadline to close up shop at once.
The city issued a statement Monday warning any such dispensaries will face fines and even legal action if they continue to operate.
“Businesses that did not apply for a licence prior to the deadline must close their doors immediately, or be subject to enforcement action,” the city said.
Vancouver also announced it’s ready to move forward in the application process for the dispensaries that did apply, and which meet its strict licensing requirements.
According to the city, 176 pot shops submitted applications before the Aug. 21 deadline. Of those, just 11 met Vancouver’s zoning requirements, which means they’re located at least 300 metres away from schools, community centres, facilities for vulnerable youth, and other marijuana-related businesses.
Those can begin working on a development permit review, which will give the public a chance to give input on the process. People who live within a two-block radius will also be notified about the applications by mail.
Another 30 stores that applied meet most of the requirements, but are too close to other pot shops. The city said it will be evaluating those businesses and determining which ones can stay put and which will have to move or close.
The remaining 135 applicants don’t meet the zoning requirements, and have six months to find a different location that does and re-apply.
On top of zoning requirements, marijuana shops in Vancouver are required to purchase a $30,000 business licence, obtain a development permit that includes a community notification process, and sign a good neighbour agreement.
Non-profit compassion clubs are charged a discounted fee of $1,000 for their business licences.