The owner of a dispensary in East Vancouver is getting letters of support from neighbours in his efforts to keep his business open.

Budzilla dispensary owner Rejean Houle has reached out to businesses in his community, and the response he’s been getting is nothing but positive.

“Other businesses in the the area benefit from us. We bring a lot of traffic into the community.” Houle said. “Owners are willing to talk to city officials and voice their support.”

Houle has collected signed letters of approval from eight local businesses, specifically within 300 metres of his dispensary, and is expecting to receive several more.

City officials told Houle that his application for a business licence is entering a “declustering” process due to another applicant within 300 metres of his shop.
City bylaws prohibit more than one dispensary within that radius.

There is no other existing dispensary within 300 metres of Budzilla, but the city said applicants need only prove they have a lease to be considered.

Houle hopes he won’t be penalized or rejected because of an applicant that doesn’t have an established operation.

“We’re in the dark about other applications.” Houle said, noting there is no way for him to find out if an application exists for a venue within 300 metres of his dispensary. “I’m just trying to stay positive and prove we have the support of our business and medical patient community.  They want us to stay.”