Article by Mike Okada, Cannabis Life Network
There is a huge case about to go before the BC Supreme Court in September- a group of around 50 dispensaries in Vancouver are joining together in a test case to file a challenge of the city’s zoning bylaws- which are often used to deny dispensaries business licenses- in a precedent-setting case that will determine the fate of half of Vancouver’s dispensaries.
What is a test case?
A test case is a case that sets a precedent for other case involving the same question of law, and the City of Vancouver, the dispensaries, and their respective lawyers have all agreed to it.
Dori Dempster, the Executive Director of The Medicinal Dispensary, explained to CLN:
“We’ve filed a suit as part of a group of dispensaries that have banded together with 3 lawyers. Essentially, one dispensary- the test case- will be put in front of a judge. All participating dispensaries can provide testimony and witnesses, but only one dispensary is the test case.
“The judge will make the decision on that dispensary, and that ruling will be a blanket ruling for all dispensaries taking part.”
Since only one dispensary will be selected as the test case, this approach is more efficient and less costly because it eliminates the need for every dispensary to file their own suit against the City.
Win or lose, the ruling will apply to all participating dispensaries, and until this case concludes, these dispensaries will have temporary immunity from the city’s injunctions, although they may still be subject to enforcement actions like tickets and fines.