The City of Vancouver has handed out nearly $400,000 in tickets to pot shops, but has only collected a fraction of the fees.
As of January 31, the city has handed out nearly 1,200 tickets for a total of $390,250, but has only collected $77,500.
An owner of The Herb Co, one of the few city-approved stores, says it’s frustrating for him to see unlicensed shops continuing to run.
Sunny Bhayana wants the city to start tackling the problem.
“They’re pretty much just open to do what they want and you know, we’re following all the rules. I understand it’s a challenge for the city, but I feel like they do need to maybe step it up.”
Bhayana says that without a fear of repercussions, the unlicensed shops will keep running.
He thinks the city needs to start ticketing property owners instead of the businesses.
“In the end, no one is going to have to pay these tickets unless they pass some kind of bylaw and start ticketing the landlord for allowing this use that’s not accepted by the city.”
The City of Vancouver declined to comment, but noted there are 51 stores running that are subject to fines which could lead to legal action.