Cannabis Culture, the popular Canadian weed dispensary chain, announced today (January 8) that it will shut down three of its Vancouver locations indefinitely by January 31, 2019.
The closure is a result of recent B.C. Supreme Court case in which the city successfully defended 53 injunctions filed against cannabis-related businesses operating outside regulations.
“It is with great sadness that we must announce the forced closure of three of our Cannabis Culture dispensary locations and the laying-off of over 50 employees, due to heavy-handed tactics by the City of Vancouver,” says Cannabis Culture CEO Jeremiah Vandermeer in a release today.
In the release, the dispensary called for emergency licences to allow existing stores to serve “thousands of medical patients and other customers who require products that are not currently available at recreational stores, like extracts and edibles.”
Due to the federal legalization of cannabis in October 2018, dispensaries must now have two levels of approval—municipal and provincial—if they wish to operate in the new market. In a recent statement, officials from the City of Vancouver warned of increasing enforcement against those failing to obtain proper licences, including fines and potentially jail time.
“Cannabis dispensaries save lives, and decades of scientific research proves it without a doubt,” says cannabis advocate Jodie Emery in the release.
“While the City of Vancouver takes bold, progressive action with respect to harm reduction measures such as InSite and opioid access programs, they are irrationally threatening harsh punishments against peaceful dispensaries providing life-saving cannabis access.”
Currently, only three stores are have the proper licenses to operate in Vancouver: Evergreen Cannabis and two City Cannabis Co. locations.
The Vancouver Cannabis Culture locations are 1674 Davie Street, 3421 East Hastings Street, and 3175 West Broadway.