Let’s not mince words, “go back to selling cannabis on the street,” is exactly what the city is saying.
What do they think will come of the hundreds of dispensaries they’re forcibly closing?
That these entrepreneurs will just pack up and say, “oh well, maybe we can fare better in Toronto or Victoria.”
That the suppliers will shut down their gardens and shops and stand in the unemployment line?
No, many of these people will return to the street, which is far more dangerous and unpredictable.
The City of Vancouver was more concerned about aesthetics and keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors.
But there’s no beauty in dealers on the street corner, covertly exchanging cannabis for cash to a buyer who cannot inspect the product.
And obviously, street dealers don’t ask for IDs and don’t stand at least 300 metres from schools and community centres.
Cannabis retail storefronts were a progressive step in the maturing cannabis industry.
The concentration of dispensaries in Vancouver was a) no more worse than coffee shops, bars and liquor stores and b) partly because neighbouring jurisdictions upheld prohibition, creating incentives to open up in Vancouver instead of somewhere like Surrey.
Vancouver City Council just took a giant leap backward, a reactionary step inline with the ideology of the previous federal government they routinely decried and blamed for their own problems.
Vancouver’s city bureaucrats and politicians are not being responsible, they are being foolish and putting hundreds of jobs at risk.
They are not eradicating cannabis dispensaries, they are sending the product back out onto the street.
This is why some people were against these regulations from day one.
This is why the city should be sued.
Never mind the worry that, “it won’t send the right message,” or that it’s possible to work with the city.
In the first round of appeals to the Board of Variance, the city manager stood by and told the Board what to decide.
No, you cannot work with these people. The state is a gang of criminals writ large.
Everyone else in society earns wealth on a voluntary basis, that is, through consensual relationships between buyers and sellers.
Only government is exempt from this process.
The sooner the illegitimacy of this system is acknowledged and private property rights are upheld and respected, the sooner these dispensaries can reopen.
In the meantime, you can promise to vote these goons out come next election, but something tells me millions of dollars in political donations will override your importance.
Taxation is armed robbery.
Vancouver doesn’t need rulers like some medieval fiefdom. It needs respect for person, property and liberty.
Vancouver needs free-and-fair markets.