City issues two new cannabis retail operator business licences
The City of Vancouver has issued its fourth and fifth cannabis retail business licences to Hobo located at 8425 Granville Street and 4296 Main Street.
Including three licences that were issued in January 2019, the following five locations are now licensed to operate a retail cannabis store in Vancouver:
- Hobo - 8425 Granville Street
- Hobo - 4296 Main Street
- Evergreen Cannabis Society - 2868 West 4th Avenue
- City Cannabis Co. - 610 Robson Street
- City Cannabis Co. - 7289 Fraser Street
Receipt of a municipal business licence is the final step for cannabis retail outlets to legally operate a cannabis retail store in Vancouver. Cannabis retail outlets must also hold a municipal development permit and a provincial cannabis retail licence.
We are continuing to review applications received from the province for recommendation of a provincial cannabis licence, and are doing everything possible to coordinate with the province and the operators to complete these steps quickly.
To date, we have received 37 notifications from the province for Vancouver applications. 26 applicants have completed the public notification requirement and have been recommended to the province for approval.
Requirements to operate a cannabis store in Vancouver
- All cannabis retail outlets in Vancouver require a municipal development permit, a provincial licence and a municipal business licence to operate
- There are 62 locations in Vancouver where we have issued land use approval (development permit) to operate a cannabis retail outlet
- We have communicated the requirement for these 62 operations to come into full compliance with provincial and municipal requirements
- If an operator has not applied for a provincial licence, they are subject to provincial and municipal enforcement
- As part of the process to receive a provincial licence, the province requires municipalities to review all applications from operators in their city, seek public input to the application, and issue a letter of recommendation
- All Vancouver applicants must post a sign on site for 14 calendar days, indicating their intent to operate a legal cannabis retail outlet and how the public can submit feedback to the City about the application
- We review the public feedback before we issue a recommendation to the province
- A recommendation from the City does not guarantee that the provincial licence will be granted
Enforcement as of May 10, 2019
- From 2016 - 2017, we filed injunctions against 53 operators, the majority of which agreed to a test case, which commenced in September 2018 in BC Supreme Court
- On December 13, 2018, the BC Supreme Court sided with the City and ordered the illegal marijuana dispensaries participating in the suit to shut down
- Many of the 53 locations have closed. Only nine remain open.
- The City has identified 11 additional retail shops, which were not part of the test case, operating without a valid development permit and has either filed or is preparing to take legal action at these locations
- Any location operating without City land use approval is subject to enforcement by both the province and the City. The Provincial Community Safety Unit, tasked with enforcing illegal cannabis retail sales, is now active in Vancouver