A few dispensaries in Vancouver have made political donations to the municipal party known as Vision Vancouver. Cannabis activist Jodie Emery thinks that this is a good sign for the industry. “It’s almost like we’re being normalized as an industry. Political donations, paying lobbyists – that’s the way everything else seems to be done, so we’re bringing marijuana into the fold,” says Emery.
Three different dispensaries have made donations so far: Eden Medicinal Society, Med Pot Now Society, and Vancouver Dispensary Society. The amount of these political donations is very small, with each dispensary giving less than $3,000, but this is likely not the last time that such donations will be made.
MPN manager, Gemma Zimmel, comments on the company recently receiving it’s development permit, “The city acknowledging it as a business makes more people comfortable about it in the neighborhood.”
Zimmel says they didn’t intend to make any donations, but only did so after learning of others who were doing it. “There were quite a few dispensaries that participated so we did it as a group. We still had to live up to a high standard,” said Zimmel.
Kerry Jang, Vision Vancouver Councillor, says that permit granting process is being done fairly. “There was no special treatment. Just that we would start a dialogue that would move the national agenda, and that’s what we’ve done,” Jang says.
We will continue to follow the permitting process in Vancouver as it unfolds. A new permit was just granted recently, and the story can be found here.