I’m going to get straight to the point. The city of Vancouver has created aggressive zoning restrictions in order for dispensaries to obtain a municipal cannabis retail license. The following are the exact rules taken from the City of Vancouver’s web page;
Step 1: Meet municipal requirements
Find a business location that meets zoning requirements. The location must be in a commercial zone, and be at least 300 m from:
- Community Centres
- Neighbourhood houses
- Youth facilities that serve vulnerable youth
- Other cannabis businesses
So, where does the city expect business retailers to operate? In the centre most point of Stanley Park? Or maybe ill grab my paddle board and set up shop in the middle of Buntzen Lake.
Jokes aside, the proximity of this zoning regulation is aggressive and just plain ridiculous. What is the reason for these restrictions? Safety? In that case, then why are these rules and regulations not as aggressive in with liquor licensing? When you think about it, crappy situations and hazardous people are way more likely to take place in a liquor store. Lets be honest, we’ve all seen some crazy shit in liquor stores. (Please excuse my language, I get really into it when I’m baked). Lets name a few just for sheer entertainment; the crazy guy screaming at the clerk because she wont trade a bottle of Jack for his 4 empty cans, or the drunk loud degenerates drunk on liquid courage ready to fight anyone who looks at them wrong. That’s just to name a few. Not to mention, bars and clubs where problems are even more likely!
If you’ve been privileged enough to experience buying weed in a dispensary, then you know just how safe and controlled it really is. For starters, cannabis retailers have a membership program that filters out any that are under aged, repeat offenders, and just plain weirdos. Some dispensaries I’ve even seen even have a remote controlled door! So unless you look reasonably fit to purchase cannabis, your not even getting past the welcome mat! Not to mention, your usually greeted by a fluffy, chill cat. Who doesn’t like cats?
So with these new proximity restrictions taking place, the city of Vancouver is shutting down dispensaries left and right. The city is even denying license applications from retailers that meet these municipal regulations. Why? The iconic marijuana company, Cannabis Culture were forced to shut down three of their stores, resulting in 50 lost jobs. They are only three of 53 dispensaries that are shut down to date. Not to mention, the lives that are affected because of the inconvenience to their medication. Since the legalisation of marijuana on October 17 2018, the city has only issued three licenses to retailers.
At the end of the day, cannabis dispensaries are saving lives, curing diseases, and alleviating anxieties and stress, just to name a few. The munchies are the real only known side affects. Meanwhile, alcohol is the leading cause of death by drugs, killing thousands of Canadians annually. Not only the intoxicated either. Lethal automobile accidents are taking innocent lives too.
If you agree with everything I’ve said, below is how you can contribute to a positive change. (Taken from http://www.cannabisculture.com).
HOW TO HELP
Click the links below to TAKE ACTION and help Cannabis Culture and other dispensaries stay open!
Call Mayor Kennedy Stewart at 604-873-7621
Call Councillor Adriane Carr, Vancouver Green Leader, at 604-873-7245
Call NPA Councillor Rebecca Bligh at 604-873-7249
Call NPA Councillor Lisa Dominato now at 604-873-7248
Thanks for reading the first post to my Toke News series. Feedback will be GREATLY appreciated in the comments below!