Vancouver councillor Kerry Jang said the city is preparing to file 10 more injunctions against medical cannabis dispensaries that have refused to comply with orders to close.
Jang said that, of the 17 dispensaries that were given injunctions to close last month, three have already voluntarily closed their doors, a sign that he said shows the city is gaining control over the businesses.
“It is certainly a lot better, a lot more effective than any other approach that you can take, like sending in the police to shut them down,” he said.
So far, city officials have issued 351 $250 tickets to the 52 dispensaries that have remained open past the closure deadline of April 29.
Jang said only 51 of the tickets have been paid, a move that will ultimately hurt shop owners as Jang said the city is using those records to determine which businesses will be targeting in the next round of injunction orders.
“Part of the evidence of court is how many tickets we give out and how many times they refuse to pay it,” Jang said.
Jang said the city’s operation has been a success in that no new dispensaries have opened since tickets have been issued.
“That was the main thing, to make sure we didn’t have a resurgence of shops while the [federal] government decides what action it takes in terms of legalization,” he said.
According to Jang, other cities, like Toronto, have been in contact with him for advice on managing their own dispensaries.