city hall

Vancouver Board of Variance Approves One Appeal, Rejects Others

Last night the Vancouver Board of Variance granted one appeal request for a medical cannabis compassion club, rejecting another one and striking two from the docket.

The Dispensary Society on 880 East Hastings was struck from the agenda within minutes due to a jurisdictional issue, “surprising us all,” tweeted Kirk Tousaw.

MMJ Canada faired a little better, but not by much.

The 12th Avenue address was originally rejected by the city for being within 300 meters of a school, Queen Alexandra. However, as the lawyers, employees, and members of the public made clear to the Board, MMJ was far enough away from the front door of the school, making the 300-meter straight-line measurement “inappropriate” given the four-lane throughway the kids would have to cross.

Additionally, Queen Alexandra is slated for closure, and with no other dispensary in the area, there were no site-specific issues for the 12th Avenue compassion club.

MMJ Canada CEO Clint Younge spoke to the Board about the various causes and fundraising MMJ participates in, giving back to the community, and providing mental health services for patients and industry education for their staff.

With discreet signing and lack of children in the area, the MMJ Canada on 12th Ave was consistent with the city’s original bylaws. To close the compassion club because of a nearby school, slated for closure and operating at 70% capacity, would be “fundamentally unfair,” said Tousaw.

With no complaints on file, the Board of Variance approved MMJ Canada’s 12th Ave address.

Things didn’t go as well for the Victoria Drive location which was denied, but MMJ Canada has vowed to appeal the decision.

The 3rd location on Main Street was struck from the list, pending further review due to  a jurisdictional issue.

The next Board of Variance meeting is scheduled for January 25.