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Enforcement for medical marijuana-related businesses to begin

April 26 2016

Vancouver City Hall

Beginning this weekend, City inspectors will start enforcement action on any medical marijuana-related use (MMRU) that is in a non-compliant location and continues to operate without a business licence.

Enforcement action will include ticketing as well as appropriate legal action.

Seven development permits issued under new regulations

In October 2015, 140 preliminary development permit applications for marijuana-related businesses were refused because they were not in permitted zones or did not meet distancing regulations. Stores already open at the time of refusal have been allowed to operate for six months while they search for new sites. However, these stores must now close as of April 29, 2016.

There are currently seven MMRUs who have been issued development permits under the new regulations adopted in June 2015, and another 13 applications are under review.

Once a development permit is approved, the application moves to the final stage of approval: obtaining a business licence. We are currently processing three business licence applications and expect to issue the first licence soon.

View a map of locations of issued permits and licences

Board of Variance Appeal Hearings

The Board of Variance is scheduled to hear medical marijuana-related use appeals until November. To date, the Board has heard 18 of 62 medical marijuana-related use appeals. Eleven appeals have been refused, four have been granted, two have been deferred to a future meeting, and one was withdrawn by the applicant.

Hearing dates do not affect store closure requirements; applicants waiting on later appeal dates must close and may not re-open unless they receive a successful ruling from the Board, and then obtain a development permit and a business licence.

The next step for applicants granted appeals is to submit a full development permit application. There is an opportunity for community input on each application before it moves forward.

See the list of refused applications and appeal dates  (120 KB)

New applications

The City is not accepting new applications for medical marijuana-related uses until the processing of all active applications received in the first intake is complete. Those interested in making a future application can sign up online to be notified before the next round of applications begins.

See the appendix for an update on the current status of all applications.

Appendix: Application count as of April 25, 2016

Stage Number
Approved business licences 0
Approved development permits
Full development permit applications under review 13
Clustered preliminary development permit applications 19 under review in 7 clusters
Refused preliminary development permit applications 140
Board of Variance appeals  (120 KB) 62
Board appeals refused 11
Board appeals granted 4 (can submit a full DE)
Board appeals deferred 2
Board appeals withdrawn 1