Article by Rafferty Baker, CBC News
After more than a year and 53 injunctions filed in B.C. Supreme Court, the City of Vancouver finally has a hearing date set for one case against an unlicensed marijuana dispensary.
But the injunction filed against Karuna Health Foundation — which will serve as the court’s ‘test case’ — still won’t be heard for more than a year.
“It’ll be almost two years but better late than never,” said Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang, who’s been frustrated by the slow court process as the city tries to enforce its relatively new marijuana dispensary bylaws.
“Sooner would have been better.”
“It’s because we’ve heard nothing from the courts, the provincial government for so long that these bad pot shop owners figure they can get away with anything they want,” said Jang.
The city reports that there are currently 64 shops operating without permits — 53 of them have injunctions filed against them. But unless the court grants the injunctions, the city has no power to shut them down.
Only 11 shops have been issued a business licence, but many more have development permits and aren’t currently subject to enforcement.
More than $1 million in unpaid fines
The enforcement strategy has been to issue tickets, but many of them are going unpaid.
More than 2,000 tickets have been handed out, but of the $1.2 million in fines, only $160,000 has been collected by the city.