Article by David Brown, Lift
Vancouver has awarded their eighth Medical Marijuana Related Use (MMRU) business license to Buddha Barn Medicinal Society, located at 2179 W 4th Ave.Buddha Barn is the first licensed cannabis retailer in the Kitsilano neighbourhood.
The business advertises itself on its website as a ‘non-profit dispensary’ and received their business license as a compassion club, and say they offer their products at cost for cancer patients. They also share their space with Clinica Holistica, a Traditional Chinese Medicine & Holistic Healthcare centre that offers acupuncture and reiki, staffed by two registered practitioners of TCM.
Vancouver’s regulations distinguish between for-profit dispensaries and non-profit compassion clubs. dispensaries must pay a $30,000 licensing fee, whereas compassion clubs only pay $1,000. Three of the eight currently operating with a business license list themselves as non-profit ‘societies’ under British Columbia Society Act.
Under Vancouver’s MMRU rules, Compassion Clubs must be registered under the Society Act, must be a member of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD), must provide additional, non-cannabis related medical services such as “Reiki provided by a Registered Practitioner of Reiki, nutritional counselling provided by a Registered Dietician, psychological counselling provided by a Registered Psychologist, Chinese medicine provided by a Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, cranial-sacral therapy provided by a Registered Craniosacral Therapist, or massage provided by a Registered Massage Therapist, and must be provided for at least 60% of the time that the Compassion Club is open for business.”
All licensed businesses must also be at least 300 m away from schools, community centres, neighbourhood houses, youth facilities that serve vulnerable youth and other marijuana-related businesses.