Many cannabis dispensaries in Vancouver were given a deadline of April 29th to close their stores. While some of them went ahead with the closings, some of them vowed to stay open in protest. It didn’t take long for the city of Vancouver to begin handing out tickets, issuing $250 fines to the dispensaries that didn’t close yet.
CBC reporter Megan Batchelor tweeted a photo of one of these tickets given to cannabis magnate Don Briere at six of his cannabis shops. While Briere owns nine shops in Vancouver, he plans on fighting the tickets issued to those six dispensaries. Briere commented on this, saying “We’re paying lots of taxes. We’re employing people. If they close these shops down, it will go to the street-corner gangs who don’t pay taxes. They trade it for guns or heroin.” The city has yet to comment on which shops were fined so far, but they will provide an update on Monday.
One of the big issues with the city regulations is the distance that dispensaries must be from schools and other public facilities where children are usually present. Activist Jodie Emery feels that these regulations are biased against cannabis when compared to other substances. “These regulations are fine if they’re fair and just, but that’s the problem. The 300-metre limit is not fair when liquor stores are close to schools and when children buy candy at corner stores where cigarettes are sold. So these rules are not really justifiable. It’s simply an anti-marijuana bias,” she says. Emery just opened a new dispensary location on Friday.
Please follow Cannabis In Canada as we will be staying on top of this issue and giving updates as we find them.