Save Vancouver's Dispensaries

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Save Vancouver's Dispensaries!
Tell Vancouver City Council to stop the dispensary shutdown!
Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Vancouver's new City Council want to shut down 29 community cannabis dispensaries in the coming weeks!

Closures have already begun, including the loss of three Cannabis Culture locations.
Time is running out, but we still have a chance to save our local community dispensaries!

CITY HALL MUST UPDATE THE BYLAWS!

In 2016, Vision Vancouver ignored local opinion and passed dispensary bylaws that would force many local outlets to close.

Now the new Mayor and Council want to use those bylaws to shut down 29 local dispensaries, and they promise more shutdowns to come!

Instead of threats and raids, Vancouver City Council should be revisiting the dispensary bylaws, and changing them to more open and fair.

Vancouver's dispensary bylaws were written long before legalization, when Harper was in power. They bylaws are very restrictive and are written so that the majority of dispensaries in the city simply can't comply. Now that the federal laws have changed, Vancouver's tight restrictions on cannabis store locations don't make sense anymore.

Vancouver's dispensary bylaws make it impossible for most city dispensaries to join the legal system. The new city council needs to take a fresh look at these old bylaws and fix some big problems.

HOW TO FIX THE BYLAWS

1. Distance requirements. Current bylaws ban cannabis dispensaries being within 300 metres of a school or youth centre. Liquor stores only have a 150 metre limit. Changing the dispensary distance limit to 150 metres would allow many more dispensaries to stay open and transition into the legal system.

2. Extremely high fees. Current bylaws charge dispensaries $30,000 for a business license, which is 800% more than the cost of a liquor store license. The fees for cannabis dispensaries need to be made more fair.

3. Arbitrary zoning bans. Current bylaws ban dispensaries from all industrial zones and most of the Downtown Eastside. These kinds of pointless restrictions make no sense and need to be removed.

4. Medical access. The dispensary bylaws were supposed to be about ensuring medical access for patients. The legal cannabis shops are not meeting the needs of medical users. There is still an important need for medical dispensaries to stay open.

Vancouver does have options. The city of Gibsons has just issued a permit to a local dispensary that has been operating there for years. Despite the dispensary not operating within the federal system, the city council recognized that it was serving an important need in the community and have given them a permit to stay open.

In 2015, Vision Vancouver said they would be revisiting the dispensary bylaws in two years. Now it's 2019, and the bylaws have never been revised at all. It's time for the new City Council to take a fresh look at how they regulate medical cannabis dispensaries in Vancouver!

A 2016 Nanos poll showed less than 25% support for any aspect of Vancouver's dispensary bylaws!


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