Vancouver received exactly the crazy number of marijuana dispensary licence applications you thought it would

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      Does it feel like a lot of marijuana shops have popped up around Vancouver over the last couple of years?

      If everyone who applied for a licence to run a marijuana dispensary sees their application approved, the number of cannabis storefronts operating in the city could soon double.

      Phase one of Vision Vancouver’s three-stage plan to regulate marijuana storefronts ended on August 21 and today (August 28) it was revealed how many people applied for a licence.

      The number is 176, which compares to an estimated 90 to 100 dispensaries that were doing business in Vancouver when city hall began receiving applications.

      It’s worth noting, however, that the bar for submitting a phase-one application was a very low one.

      It involved a $100 application fee and the completion of a short form that asked for basic details related to a store. The city described this step as “preliminary” and primarily required to determine which dispensaries fail to meet location requirements that prohibit shops from standing within 300 metres of schools, community centres, and other dispensaries.

      The Straight previously reported on requirements and processes related to all three stages of the application process. Steps two and three are significantly more arduous than the initial phase that ended last week.

      The completion of phase one is the latest step in the city’s implementation of a regulatory scheme adopted by Vancouver council on June 24, 2015.

      On that date, councillors voted to create a new licence category for marijuana-related businesses and to adopt a number of bylaws that dictate how cannabis storefronts should operate. Among the new rules, dispensaries must not stand within 300 metres of a school or community centre, minors are not allowed inside the stores, and shops must comply with all relevant building, zoning, licence, and development bylaws.

      It’s estimated that when the regulatory scheme is finally fully implemented, the number of dispensaries operating in Vancouver will number around 100.



      Bruce Dean

      Aug 28, 2015 at 11:29am's all good - for our health, for our community, for our economy.

      If there's a concern it should more appropriately be focused upon the even larger number of locations you can purchase and/or consume the deadly and addictive alcohol, or the addictive and unhealthy coffee, tobacco, or pharmaceuticals.

      approved by City Council, paid for by taxpayers

      Aug 28, 2015 at 12:25pm

      Your article states "Vision Vancouver’s three-stage plan..."
      In fact is it City Council and not the Vision executive that run City Hall.
      For the record, yes NPA Councillors were opposed to regulations, but the Green Party Councillor voted with the majority in approve the plans.
      So this is City Council's plan, put together by City staff and paid for by the taxpayer.

      Xander Davis

      Aug 28, 2015 at 1:19pm

      And the RCMP have the names for the immediate arrest after the federal election.

      Silly and stupid as allowing public tobacco shops.

      Health Crisis?

      Aug 28, 2015 at 3:31pm

      Vancouver must have an awful lot of sick people to need all those "dispensaries".

      Barry William Teske

      Aug 28, 2015 at 9:39pm

      @ Health Crisis?

      Hey Health Crisis?
      A big Hello to you!

      I wonder if you are willing to consider that pissibly, the real crisis is that our federal and provincial leaders are more than willing to create archaic laws based on misinformation and predjudice just to fill jails their buddies get tax dollars to bulild instead of actually participating in society and living first hand what injustice does to the economy of the country and its provinces? me.
      That is all I am asking you to consider.

      Pamela McColl

      Sep 5, 2015 at 4:02pm

      There is not one good reason why a civic government would make this move. It is 100% politics and the City of Vancouver's manager Dr. Penny Ballem should loose her $350,000 job over this. A complete waste of time. The interests of the dispensaries ( pot stores) were placed ahead of daycares, businesses. If there is a business out there that has lost money - seek legal advise. That is what the businesses in Colorado have done. Ballem needs to go.

      Martin Dunphy

      Sep 5, 2015 at 6:41pm


      Pamela McColl is an anti-marijuana activist and a director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada.