After passing new bylaws in late September that allowed for rezoning and business licenses for medical cannabis dispensaries, the City of Victoria has received its first application from Leaf Compassion Cannabis Dispensary.

Before applying to obtain a license from the city, dispensaries must first complete the city’s rezoning requirements, a process that costs $7,500. The license itself will then cost $5,000 if the rezoning application is approved.

The first documents sent to city hall are for Leaf’s 950 Yates Street location that has been in operation since 2015 (the business has another store at 300-block of Cook Street).

With over 30 dispensaries in the city and a rule in place that restricts them from operating within 200 meters of one another the City expects around a third of them to close or move.

Mayor Lisa Helps said when selecting which dispensary will receive a license when several are within the 200 zone of one another, the first to complete their rezoning process is likely to be successful.

“It is a matter of which dispensary owner is organized and through the door most quickly,” said Helps.