As reported last week, the City of Vancouver has created the new role of general manager of development services, buildings and licensing, a role that will oversee the current dispensary licensing process being undertaken.

Former New York City housing department chief of staff Kaye Matheny Krishna has been selected to fill the new position, starting Aug. 1, and told the Vancouver Sun that she’s approaching the dispensary situation with caution.

“It’s complicated,” she said. “I think at minimum it’s important to abide by the law and the regulatory framework, and that is one of government’s jobs.”

Kaye MathenyKrishna compared Vancouver’s dispensary licensing scheme to New York’s approval of a micro-unit housing project that also came up against regulations.

“The lawyers weren’t thrilled, but the mayor wanted to do it and it was something we really cared about,” she said.

Krishna said she’s planning to spend her early days on the job getting to know the city’s leadership team’s views on cannabis regulation and move forward with that direction.

The new department differs from past appointments with the new split of responsibilities from the previously united planning and development services.

“We kind of realized that with such a big portfolio, it’s been kind of difficult to do either one of them very well,” said Vancouver city manager Sadhu Johnston.

Johnston said a planning manager will be hired in the near future.