Urban Earth Med (1605 Renfrew) has become the second medical cannabis dispensary to be licensed by the City of Vancouver and the first classified as a compassion club to do so.

The operation made the announcement on Wednesday, before officially opening the next day.

“We have our business license,” the shop wrote, on Facebook. “Thank you to all our staff and our members for all your support! We look forward to being open to serve all our members seven days a week from 9am – 10pm.”

Urban Earth Med joins Wealth Shop Society, the first dispensary to successfully obtain a license in May.

Managing director Lee Jackson said the process wasn’t easy, but he’s excited to move on to the next step.

“It feels great, it was a long road, obviously, to get to it,” said Jackson. “We had two other locations on Fraser St. and another on Kingsway and both were rejected.

“We closed those down right away when we were supposed to and, finally, all this hard work paid off and we finally got it done.”

Jackson said he’s in no rush to reopen new locations in Vancouver and plans to focus on the Renfrew store, helping members access medicinal cannabis. He said while others may choose to stay open, despite city orders to close, he’s committed to following any regulations that come forward around dispensaries.

“Everyday it’s a changing process, we’re not sure what’s going to happen,” Jackson said. “Whatever we can do to follow the rules, whether it be federal, provincial or municipal, we’re here to adhere to these rules.”

As a compassion club, Urban Earth Med wil pay $1,000 a year for a license, compared to $30,000 for what the city classifies as “medical marijuana-related retail dealers.”

The city also announced today the creation of a new department of Development Services, Buildings and Licensing led by Kaye Matheny Krishna.

The new department will oversee the City’s regulatory framework for dispensaries, going forward.

“Kaye will assume leadership of the City’s efforts to transform its permitting and licensing processes and improve service and turnaround times for applicants,” read a release from the city. “The licensing function, which has been under the Community Services Department will be integrated into the new department.”

Numbers provided by the City of Vancouver show, as of Jun. 28, 52 dispensaries are still in operation despite orders to close.

Permits and Licencing Numbers
Development permits issued for Medical Marijuana-related Uses (MMRUs)
12
Development permits under review for Medical Marijuana-related Uses (MMRUs)
16
Business Licences issued for Compassion Clubs or Retail Dealers – Marijuana-related
1
Business Licence applications under review
5
Bylaw Enforcement
Medical marijuana stores that have complied with regulations and have closed or are no longer selling marijuana since April 29, 2016
34
Stores currently operating that are subject to enforcement
52
Stores currently operating that are not subject to enforcement
33
Tickets Issued ($250 each)
400
Tickets Paid
81
Injunctions Filed
17