Article by Travis Lupick, The Georgia Straight
Vancouver’s new regulatory framework for marijuana businesses has been slow to put a dent in the number of dispensaries operating in the city.
When council adopted the bylaws in June 2015, there were an estimated 115 storefronts selling cannabis in Vancouver. According to data supplied by the city on August 23, that number has been reduced, but only by about 30, to 84.
Of those 84 stores still selling marijuana, 33 have a business licence or development permit, or are working their way through the application process. Those shops can, therefore, sell medicinal cannabis without contravening the city’s bylaws for marijuana businesses.
Fifty-one other cannabis dispensaries continue to operate despite the city having ordered them to close. Those businesses are subject to enforcement actions and can be issued a fine of $250 for each day they continue to sell marijuana.
Bylaw officers have issued 565 of those tickets since enforcement began on May 1. So far, 128 of them have been paid. The city has also filed 27 court injunctions ordering those illicit dispensaries to close.