City of Vancouver announces new marijuana dispensary applications

January 16, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ News

The City of Vancouver has notified the public about three new development applications for marijuana dispensaries. This brings to 12 the number of development applications allowed to be filed so far under the regulatory process adopted by the city in June 2015.

In the first week of January this year, city staff sent out public notices regarding plans for 1501 Commercial Drive, 1605 Renfrew Street, and 1357 East 41st Avenue.

EVO MEDI Society proposed a 2,782-square-foot store at 1501 Commercial Drive. For 1605 Renfrew Street, Urban Earth Med Society plans to open a 2,900-square-foot shop. The Stressed and Depressed Association seeks to sell medical pot at a 950-square-foot store at 1357 East 41st Avenue.

The new rules provide that medical pot stores can operate in commercial areas 300 metres from other marijuana-related businesses, schools, community centres, neighbourhood houses, and facilities for vulnerable youth.

City councillor Kerry Jang explained that although these applications are for permitted zones, there is no guarantee that they will be approved.

“It really depends on what the public feedback is,” Jang told the Straight in a phone interview. “If the public feedback is very negative, then they’ll see whether or not there’s ways they [proponents] can address the issues raised by the public, if they can. It’s really up to the discretion of the [city] director of planning at that point.”

When Vancouver moved to regulate marijuana-related businesses, there were more than 80 pot shops across the city, according to a city-staff report. Jang said last year that he expects 15 to 20 dispensaries to remain open. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed Liberal MP and Toronto’s former police chief Bill Blair to head the federal government’s effort to legalize recreational marijuana.