The massive 4/20 gathering includes vendors, live bands, and street closures.
Police are on standby, and requires a large clean-up effort.
But at least one Business Improvement Association crying foul over the fact the event doesn’t pay the city permits, or pick up the cost of policing.
Claudia Laroye with the Marpole BIA says they would need licences, permits, and cover all costs to have a similar event.
“I mean I am pleased people are having fun today but it costs a lot of money to close a street down and pay for policing. It would cost us over $50,000 to close Granville street down. The city has never supported that idea at all because Granville street is a major thoroughfare on the way to the airport. So it has never happened. It is a little bit difficult to take seeing what others are allowed to do under the guise of a protest.”
Laroye says it is an uneven playing field at best.
“All the bills are paid by the taxpayer and such and people are having a great time, which is fabulous. However on the other hand it kind of leaves a bit of a sour taste for some of us who are trying to create fun in the city and its cost prohibitive.”
Laroye can’t believe the city is picking up policing and ambulance costs for an event that doesn’t even have a permit to operate.
“It is a lot of nudge nudge wink wink going on.”
She says other groups and organizations are stuck jumping through hoops with a big bill at the end to hold events to try and make Vancouver a fun city.
For its part, the City of Vancouver says its just trying to make sure 4/20 participants stay safe.
A spokesperson says it’s not like the city is trying to give 4/20 festivities an unfair deal.
Rather, organizers won’t cooperate so instead of busting heads, City Hall decided to close roads and have police on stand-by to ensure safety of the thousands that descend on downtown Vancouver to light up.
Many observers noticed an increase in commercial vendors at this year’s event.
CKNW has learned the city has noticed too.
And that’s something it will consider when deciding how to deal with next year’s event.