Vancouver Continues Dispensary Licensing Ahead of Legalization

Article by David Brown, Lift News

Vancouver continues dispensary licensing ahead of legalization The City of Vancouver says they intend to keep moving forward with their dispensary licensing program while the province sorts out rules for retail recreational cannabis stores

The City of Vancouver says they intend to keep moving forward with their dispensary licensing program while the province sorts out rules for retail recreational cannabis stores.

A representative for the city says Vancouver has no intentions of pausing their Medical Marijuana Related Use (MMRU) licensing program, saying they are still waiting to hear from the province on what cannabis distribution will look like in BC.

“Until the provincial government teams are in a position to reach out to the City and work on developing a distribution framework, our current regulatory framework is in place,” says Jag Sandhu, a communications coordinator for the city.

Sandhu says Vancouver hopes to work with the province on their plans for legal cannabis distribution and sales, but in the meantime will keep utilizing their licensing program to manage dispensaries and keep them away from kids and ‘vulnerable populations.’

“The City of Vancouver looks forward to working with the provincial government on the legal and regulatory framework for marijuana in BC and we’ve provided information on our existing model,” says Sandhu. “Until the federal and provincial frameworks are in place, the City will continue to operate the MMRU program, which uses both land use and licensing tools to set rules around dispensary distancing, concentration, and limited proximity to youth and vulnerable populations.”

British Columbia’s public consultation process around how to handle legalization came to a close on Nov. 1, with nearly 50,000 submissions and hundreds of submissions from stakeholders like municipalities, cannabis advocates, police associations, schools, doctors and many more.

Vancouver’s submission says the city supports municipalities having control on the location and size of any cannabis stores through various land use bylaws and a mix of public and private retail systems similar to how alcohol is regulated in BC. The city also said that it does not support selling cannabis alongside alcohol, a possibility the province says they are still open to.

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