My question was about the criteria the VPD are using to ensure gang-related suppliers aren’t getting the go-ahead at the expense of non-violent, non-gang related cannabis farmers and extraction crews. How is the VPD reconciling supply issues with the city’s by-laws that don’t take supply into account?
I used the example of the BC Compassion Club Society on Commercial Drive that is across from a school but sourcing their medicine from non-gang related growers.
Apart from selling to minors or having connections to organized crime, there isn’t any legal criteria over supply.
Vancouver police won’t engage with patient-growers that – allegedly – sell or share excess medicine with compassion clubs. But, they will investigate gang-related dispensaries when the information is brought to their attention.
The question of supply, and how this relates to the competence and consumer approval of certain dispensaries over others, is being left to the city regulators who have, thus far, chosen to ignore it.
There is nothing to stop regulators from shutting down non-gang related dispensaries near schools or community centres while leaving potential gang-related dispensaries open because they fit arbitrary zoning and aesthetic requirements from the city.
There is some communication between the VPD and the city bureaucracy over which dispensaries are gang-related, but the regulations have “no effect” on how Vancouver police deal with these dispensaries, currently.
All the police can do is investigate and bring information to the city’s attention.
Ultimately, it is the city’s bureaucracy that will decide who stays and who goes and, according to them, it’s got nothing to do with supply.