City councillors in Vancouver’s neighbour to the north aren’t as keen to see cannabis dispensaries opening up in their neighbourhoods—at least not before federal legalization.
In a closed-session decision at a May 8 council meeting, City of North Vancouver councillors denied business licences to Weeds Glass and Gifts (991 Marine Drive) and Lotusland Cannabis Club (148 East Second Street), who had both requested to sell medical and recreational marijuana.
In an interview with North Shore News, Coun. Don Bell said the dispensary owners ‘could have waited’ for the federal and provincial governments to develop a framework for cannabis distribution before applying for business licences.
Other councillors told the News that once federal laws pertaining to marijuana take effect, they might be less likely to deny business licences to dispensaries.
‘Once it’s legalized, then they can get a business licence,’ said Coun. Holly Back.
The only councillor who opposed the denial of licences, Rod Clark, raised concerns that dispensary owners might pursue legal action against the City of North Vancouver.
Whether or not the dispensaries will actually stop operating is another thing entirely.
Weeds owner-operator Don Briere has already faced denied licences and subsequent fines in the City of Vancouver, and is pursuing a constitutional challenge against the city, arguing that the bylaw is an infringement on peoples’ right to access medical marijuana.
The Straight attempted to contact Briere and the owner of Lotusland, but they could not be reached at this time.
Update: A representative from Weeds has told the Straight they will meet with the city regarding this issue next Thursday. More to follow.