City of Vancouver begins crackdown on marijuana dispensaries selling edibles or allowing smoking on site

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      Marijuana dispensary operators have begun receiving letters warning them that the time has come for edibles to disappear from their stores.

      “City policy is that edibles, except for oils, tinctures and capsules, will not be permitted to be sold,” states a document issued by the City of Vancouver’s planning and development services department. “Effective immediately, edibles cannot be sold in your business.”

      The letter goes on to warn store operators that if an inspection occurs and edibles are found on the premises, the city will issue a verbal warning and photograph evidence of edibles as for sale. Furthermore, the business will not be deemed eligible for the city’s new class of marijuana business licence “until we are satisfied that the sale of edibles has ceased”.

      The document also states that smoking will no longer be tolerated inside cannabis shops. This includes lounges such as the row of clubs that border Victory Square on West Hastings Street.

      “Smoking is not allowed inside any commercial premise,” it reads. “By ‘smoking’, we mean dabbing, vaping, vaporizing and the use of e-cigarettes.”

      If anybody is found to be smoking inside a dispensary, the store manager will be issued a ticket for $250. Similar to transgressions involving the sale of edibles, a smoking ticket can adversely impact an operator’s business-licence application.

      Shops are also required to display “no smoking” signage.

      The copy of the letter obtained by the Straight is dated July 22, 2015. An employee of Canna Clinics dispensary on Commercial Drive confirmed their stores had received copies of the letter on July 23.

      The city’s issuing of the letter is the latest step in its implementation of a regulatory scheme adopted by Vancouver city 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.

      In addition to emphasizing the city’s bans on edible sales and indoor smoking, the letter details a three-step licence-application process that each dispensary is required to pass if it is to remain in business.

      Step one is described as “preliminary” and is already underway. It involves a $100 application fee. By August 21, dispensary operators must submit a short form that includes basic details related to their store. The city describes this step as 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 city is emphasizing that dispensaries that are located within the 300-metre buffer areas should still submit stage-one applications, as that will ensure they are eligible for an initial batch of relocation evaluations.

      Stage two is labeled “de-clustering” and involves a $504 inspection fee. It describes a “merit-based evaluation process” that will be used to determine which businesses within 300 metres of one another will have to move to another location.

      Stage three is when applicants must demonstrate they are compliant with the city’s new bylaws for marijuana-related businesses and when operators must pay for the city’s new class of business licence. For the majority of dispensaries, that fee is $30,000. For a smaller number that meet requirements for “compassion clubs”, the fee is $1,000.

      The city has scheduled two information sessions that dispensary operators have been invited to attend. Those are scheduled for July 30 and August 10.

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      Jul 24, 2015 at 5:46pm

      How about a crack down on ALL the crack heads ( I actually used to be one) crack shacks, meth labs, heroin injection sites, doctors that prescribe ALL narcotics and the IDIOT HEARTLESS doctors that are creating a genocide, with over prescribed, dirty disgusting methadone !. I volunteer downtown on the east side in the middle of a horrid a truamtic war zone, and I can't even begin to count the amount of JUNKIES shooting up, right OUTSIDE of 'insite'

      James G

      Jul 24, 2015 at 6:08pm

      It would be a shame for Dispensaries to not be allowed to clear the stock on hand they have in edibles. How about a bake sale?

      SPY vs SPY

      Jul 24, 2015 at 8:41pm

      I want Mayor MOONBEAM to know that I used a Synthetic Hash Oil in my old car - and the Transmission has healed itself

      My mechanic had told me it would cost $2,500.00 to fix it

      Marijuana - cures EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      Jul 24, 2015 at 11:04pm

      Pot = Clonazepam.

      They may be different chemicals with different pathways, but the general concept is the same. It's all about numbing the senses. Depressing the system and pushing life's foibles to the background - that is until the drug molecules stop binding to their respective receptors and we snap out of it.

      Dee Chardain

      Jul 25, 2015 at 8:40am

      Good! One day we can look back at the (mostly but not entirely) fake medical maijuana mentality and it will all be an unpleasant Narc Memory.

      Crystal clear

      Jul 25, 2015 at 10:00am can the city go against a federal ruling....medical cannabis is legal in all forms. . banning edibles is extremely ignorant

      John Berfelo

      Jul 25, 2015 at 10:29am

      So as a medical patient and I am told by Health Canada that I can medicate on any public government property, that means in the middle on the side walk. If the city wants to crack down on medical patients they will have to deal with the public display of people doing bong rips in public everywhere.


      Jul 25, 2015 at 10:43am

      Hail Victory!

      Window Dressing

      Jul 25, 2015 at 10:45am

      I guess the city needed to present the facade that they are "actually doing something" to placate the reefer madness crowd, for example people like Rona the low grade moron.


      Jul 25, 2015 at 12:18pm

      What terrible lunacy from the City. As another poster has said, the Supreme Court ruling is quite clear:

      "[33] We would dismiss the appeal, but vary the Court of Appeal’s order by deleting the suspension of its declaration and instead issue a declaration that ss. 4 and 5 of the CDSA are of no force and effect to the extent that they prohibit a person with a medical authorization from possessing cannabis derivatives for medical purposes."

      If you cannot prohibit possession of cannabis, you also cannot prohibit possession of lit cannabis, nor of its vapors, so long as they are contained within the club's premises. Nuisances are of course illegal. Like that fucking rendering plant.

      One basic use for medical marijuana is to replace acetaminophen. I don't use acetaminophen because it makes me feel like garbage. Marijuana doesn't. Marijuana is much safer than acetaminophen. Go look up the stats. 50-250mg of hash oil is far, far superior to any acetaminophen product, and much less toxic. I suspect that marijuana users have been cowed into focusing on prescription medications because this will always leave the lucrative over the counter market available for plunder in the most unscrupulous way possible: by pretending that a safe medication like cannabis is somehow equivalent to a dangerous prescription medication that has all sorts of dangerous side-effects, especially a low safe dose to toxic dose ratio.

      Acetaminophen is only schedule III in BC, in sustained release preparations > 650 mg or in packages containing > 50 doses. Cannabis should be on par with that. There is no rational reason I shouldn't be able to pick up a tube of high-grade hash oil at the local convenience store---and before you go talking about people getting sleepy/driving, I could also pick up dimenhydrinate, gravol, which causes quite extreme drowsiness in many people. I could pick up diphenhydramine, that is, Benadryl, which is itself a controlled drug in Zambia. The idea that marijuana is going to break the camel's back is nonsensical.