The clock is ticking for pot shops who haven’t managed to land a development permit from the City of Vancouver.
Dispensaries have been given until this Friday to close their doors or face sanction, and Councillor Kerry Jang says bylaw officers won’t be wasting any time.
“They have an inspection regime set up already for the 29th and the 30th, and will be out right away. The pot dispensaries know that this is coming, this is not new, our staff have been preparing for it for several months now. The clicker times over, that’s when our staff will start their work.”
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Jang says dispensaries were given one and two month warnings, and know very well who’s allowed to stay in business.
“The only people who are okay are those who are actually in the development permit stage or have been given an exemption by the board of variance. People who are waiting for their board of variance hearing, they will have to shut in the meantime.
That group includes some four dozen pot shops, still waiting to have their appeals heard.
Jang adds the recent declaration from Ottawa that pot-legalization legislation is in the works won’t have any bearing on bylaw staff moving ahead with their plans, which he says is a matter of filling a gap in regulations.
“The federal government is going to be at least a year before they even table some draft legislation, it will take another year for it to get through parliament. So you know, this is what we’re going to do for the next two years until the federal law is actually enacted, and then at that point we’ll revisit the city bylaws.”
Jang says staff will start with notices and orders, but can escalate to fines of up to $10,000 a day – and if necessary, court injunctions enforced by the Vancouver Police Department.
He says it’s unclear how many dispensaries could face action and that several had already closed by this weekend.