BREAKING: City of Vancouver Updates Dispensary Application Process

The City of Vancouver announced they have completed stage one of their application process for cannabis dispensary business licenses.

Of the 176 applications received, 11 have met zoning requirements and will now move on to the second stage of the city’s license process.

The 11 applications all met the city’s zoning restrictions, which required dispensaries to be 300-metres away from locations such as schools and other medical cannabis operations.

Jag Sandhu, with City of Vancouver corporate communications, said the names of successful applicants will be revealed to the public as the city’s permit process proceeds through the next month.

“The development permit process for these 11 applicants located in permitted zones is expected to begin in early November,” said Sandhu. “Information about each application will be posted on the city’s development application information page at that time.”

Notifications will be mailed to addresses within a two-block radius of the approved 11 businesses as they move forward with their permit reviews.

The city has also sent out letters to 30 other applicants that met zoning requirements but are less than the required 300-metre distance from other dispensaries that have also filed applications.

Applicants within 300-metres of one another will now enter a “declustering” process where they will be graded, with one applicant with the most favourable score to be permitted to proceed with their application.

More details on the declustering process can be found in this story from Cannabis in Canada.

Applicants in the cluster that are not chosen will be given six months by the city to find a different location to operate from.

The remaining 135 applications did not meet city zoning requirements and will not be allowed to continue in the process. They will have six months to find a new location and resubmit for a permit.

Those applications for businesses already in operation will be permitted to continue business for six months while they find alternate locations. After six months, they will be “be subject to enforcement action.”

Any operating businesses that did not apply for a permit before the August deadline are required to shut down, immediately.

“The City inspects these businesses regularly,” a city statement read. “As with other businesses, the City will use a range of enforcement tools, including fines and legal action.”

The city is not accepting new applications for dispensaries until the current group of applicants has been processed.