Article by David Brown, Lift News
The City of Vancouver has added a list of over 50 dispensaries operating in the city without permission, noting they are “subject to enforcement.”
In the past, the city has said enforcement can include ticketing, fines and, eventually, court injunctions. The city began issuing fines in April 2016 after a six month grace period, but has seen the majority of those tickets not paid. The city increased the cost of a ticket in December of last year from $250 to $1,000.
Failure to pay tickets is a factor included in the city’s reasoning for court injunctions. Several court injunctions have been announced by the city, but no dates are yet set. Injunctions can often take many months or even years to resolve. As of last December, there were over 1,000 tickets issued, but only about 250 had been paid.
While the first round of injunctions were said to be focused against businesses who were being uncooperative, a second round was said to be focused on unlicensed businesses that are operating within 300 m of those successfully making their way through the licensing process.
No representatives at the city have returned Lift’s repeated requests for comment on the progress of the MMRU licensing program.
Since starting their licensing program in 2015, the city has listed those businesses successfully making their way through the licensing process, with first a conditional permit, then a development permit and finally a business license. There are currently nine businesses listed with a business license under the city’s Medical Marijuana Related Use licensing program (MMRU) and another 26 with a conditional permit.