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article imageNine unauthorized Vancouver pot shops ordered to shut down

By Karen Graham     Jun 1, 2019 in Business
Vancouver - The City of Vancouver says nine illegal marijuana dispensaries must close down while they wait for the outcome of a legal challenge at the B.C. Court of Appeal.
You could call this the "Never-ending Story" of Vancouver's efforts to close illegal pot shops because it has been going on for several years, now.
Back in early October 2018, Digital Journal referred to British Columbia as Canada's "wild west," and the city of Vancouver as the one place known for its "grey economy" fed by illegal pot shops.
The curious label came about after the city became a haven for illegal pot shops. Rather than deny people access to medical marijuana, the city decided to overlook the stores, unless there were complaints or some other safety issue. However, by 2015, there were more than 100 illegal marijuana stores in the city.
With things getting a bit out of hand by 2015, Vancouver decided to do something to rein in the over-abundance of weed shops, City Council passed a bylaw requiring shops to obtain a development permit, a $30,000 business license and obey location rules, even though, at the time, it was illegal to sell recreational marijuana in Canada.
Things went along their merry way until September 2018, when the City of North Vancouver council endorsed a new policy allowing a maximum of six pot shops in the municipality, with the new law becoming active on October 17, when the legal marijuana law went into effect.
File photo: The BC Marijuana Party Bookstore and Lounge (Marc Emery Headquarters) in Vancouver  BC.
File photo: The BC Marijuana Party Bookstore and Lounge (Marc Emery Headquarters) in Vancouver, BC.
User: (WT-shared) Osiris at wts wikivoyage
The stickler? The new policy would bar any applicant currently operating an illegal pot shop. The situation prompted the city to launch a court case to get rid of some 53 of the illegal pot shops. The funny thing is that all the pot shops in Vancouver claim to be medical marijuana dispensaries, yet only a very few require proof of a health condition.
To make a long story short, in December 2018, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the city of Vancouver affirming its power to use “all the tools at the city’s disposal” to conduct enforcement on unlicensed operators.
The pot dispensaries named in the lawsuit brought by the city turned around and sought to have the Supreme Court's injunction stayed in the B.C. Court of Appeal, according to Global News.
To be sure, since the original petitions filed against the 53 pot shops in 2017 and 2017, a number of them had given up and closed before the December 2018 Supreme Court decision. There are still nine stores hanging on, and in a statement on Friday, the city says it expects the nine stores to obey the court order. If they do not comply, the city says it will seek to have them found in contempt of court, reports CBC Canada.
The nine stores include:
Canna Clinic - 2347 E Hastings St.
Green Cross Society Of BC - 2145 Kingsway.
Karuna Health Foundation & Metta Lounge - 3636 West Fourth Ave.
Lotusland Cannabis Club - 3474 W Broadway.
The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary - 880 E Hastings St.
Weeds -1808 Burrard St.
Weeds - 2580 Kingsway.
Weeds - 6657 Main St.
Weeds - 1108 Richards St.
More about Vancouver, British columbia, unlicenses pot shops, BC supreme court, bc court of appeal
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