On its website, the city said “the purpose of the regulations is to reduce community impacts of these businesses, while maintaining access to medical marijuana,” attempting to put a handle on the estimated 30 shops currently operating in Victoria.
“Dispensaries are popping up way too quickly and without any regulation,” Helps said. “It’s causing instability. It’s also not a level playing field; it’s not fair for our other businesses.”
Victoria has broken down cannabis operations into three categories; storefront medical marijuana retailers, including non-profit compassion clubs and for-profit businesses; medical marijuana-related businesses, which include paraphernalia shops, medical marijuana consulting services, storefront medical marijuana retailers and medical marijuana bakeries or production facilities; and businesses that keep marijuana on the premises, which include bakeries and other production facilities and storefront medical marijuana retailers.
The proposed regulations look similar to the City of Vancouver‘s system, with several distinctions, including a smaller buffer zone of 200 metres (compared to Vancouver‘s 300 metres) between dispensaries and schools or community centres and a licensing fee that won’t be higher than $5,000 (Vancouver has charged up to $30,000 for dispensaries to receive a license).