The City of Vancouver has received 176 applications for medical marijuana-related businesses after setting out new zoning and business licence regulations in June to address concerns related to public safety. Of these Stage One applications, 69 have the potential to be licenced as compassion clubs, while the remainder have applied as retail businesses.
The new regulations created by the City of Vancouver aim to achieve a balance between ensuring there is adequate availability of medical marijuana for those in need with issues such as community health, safety and security.
Businesses that did not apply for a licence prior to the deadline of August 21, 2015 must close their doors, or be subject to enforcement action – including, but not limited to, fines and legal actions, as with other businesses.
Key Regulation Points
Medical marijuana-related business will only be allowed to operate:
1. In certain commercial zones
2. At least 300 m from:
•Community centres *
•Neighbourhood houses *
•Youth facilities that serve vulnerable youth
•Other marijuana-related businesses *
* Similar to the 1,000-foot distance required in Washington and Colorado states
3. With a business licence (the licence fee is $1,000 for compassion clubs or $30,000 for medical marijuana-related retail dealers)
4. With a development permit that includes a standard community notification process
5. With a signed good neighbour agreement
City of Vancouver staff will assess the applications based on the zoning regulations. Applicants will receive a letter with zoning evaluation results and next steps within one to two months. Businesses that meet zoning requirements will move on to Stages Two and Three, which consist of inspections and the City’s standard development permit and business licence processes.
Those that do not meet the Stage One zoning requirements will need to close within six months and may reapply with a new location that meets all zoning requirements. In addition, medical marijuana-related business owners that did not apply by August 21, 2015 may register with the City of Vancouver to be notified when the next round of applications will be accepted.
For further information on the application process visit: Medical Marijuana-Related Business Licences