Vancouver city council is debating how to best control the over-the-counter sale of medicinal marijuana. A proposed regulatory framework will eventually bring dozens of illegal businesses out of the shadows.
Exactly how many dispensaries exist and where they are located has been something of a mystery.
The storefronts have always stood in plain sight. But the City of Vancouver has long maintained that because there has never been a specific class of business licence for the shops, it hasn’t been able to maintain an official tally. Meanwhile, the Vancouver Police Department similarly refused the Straight’s repeated requests for a list of addresses. It cited privacy concerns that forbid the department from releasing specific information on individuals suspected but not charged with committing a crime
Now, the Straight has produced a marijuana dispensaries map that can be described as relying on official data.
The map below is based on a list of business names and addresses compiled and maintained by the City of Vancouver and current as of May 1, 2015. The list was provided to the Straight in response to a freedom of information request (though through unofficial channels and not by the legislated process).
The green dots represent the 84 dispensary locations that appear on the city’s list. A yellow dot marks a dispensary listed by the city but that is no longer operating. A blue dot marks a dispensary address that does not appear on the city’s list but which the Straight confirmed on May 4 as open for business.
The total number of dispensaries presently operating within the City of Vancouver is 88 or higher.