city hall

Vancouver Board of Variance Approves One Dispensary Appeal

Vancouver‘s Board of Variance held its tenth meeting last night, its first since board member George Chow recused himself from all medical marijuana related appeals after joining the Liberal’s cannabis legalization task force.

Chow’s absence on the board was felt by one of the night’s appellants, Eggs Canna Inc. (2303 E Hastings), as the business’s appeal resulted in a 2–2 tie from the remaining members.

“The Vancouver Charter states – when there is a tie vote, then the appeal is disallowed,” said non-voting board member Louis Ng. “A majority is required for an appeal to be approved/allowed.”

Eggs Canna location at 2235 Commercial Drive fared better last night, with the board approving the appeal 3–1.

Eggs Canna third location being discussed (2076 Kingsway) withdrew their application, along with Heritage Dispensary Clinic Society (512 Beatty Street).

Lotusland Mount Pleasant Cannabis Society (3187 Main St.) returned to the Board of Variance after having their initial appeal in early March deferred for several months to remeasure the distance from the shop and a nearby school.

Despite the apparent direction at the meeting to conduct the remeasuring, the work hadn’t been completed, with both the city and Lotusland under the impression the other was responsible for the measurement. The board voted to, once again, defer the decision.

As of Jul. 25, the city has issued two business licenses for dispensaries in the city, with another 35 applications in various stages of review.

City of Vancouver Permits and Licensing Numbers (as of Jul. 25)
Development permits issued for Medical Marijuana-related Uses (MMRUs)
Development permits under review for Medical Marijuana-related Uses (MMRUs)
Business Licences issued for Compassion Clubs or Retail Dealers – Marijuana-related
Business Licence applications under review
Bylaw Enforcement 
Medical marijuana stores that have complied with regulations and have closed or are no longer selling marijuana since April 29, 2016
Stores currently operating that are subject to enforcement
Stores currently operating that are not subject to enforcement
Tickets Issued ($250 each)
Tickets Paid
Court Injunctions Filed

The number of shops that are said to be complying with city regulations and closed has decreased from 34 in June to 31 in July.

“This happens when shops win their appeal with Board of Variance so they continue through the permitting/business licence process,” said City of Vancouver communications representative Tobin Postman.

The next Board of Variance meeting is scheduled for Aug. 24. 

The Board of Variance have dispensary appeals scheduled until Dec. 14, 2016. With the marijuana related businesses taking up the majority of board meetings, the group has limited meetings to 15 appeals.

“Due to the volume of appeals listed on the upcoming Board agenda, the Board of Variance’s site office is now booking “new appointments for filing” on/after September 12th, 2016, and new appeals filed will be heard in October – November 2016,” Louis Ng wrote, in an email.