Regulations include 200 metres separating dispensaries from each other, and schools.
After months of discussion, tough regulations are coming into effect for operators of Victoria’s 38 marijuana dispensaries.
City council voted last night to move ahead with the new Medical Cannabis Business License Bylaw.
That means that as of October first, all storefront marijuana retailers have to apply for a business license, and eventually, rezoning.
At last night’s public meeting, speakers made their case for:
“I’m really proud of the fact to be from a city that is thinking of this.”
“Just want thank council for being very progressive towards policy going forward.”
And against the growing number of marijuana dispensaries in the city.
“But now it’s just a big pot shop. Everywhere you go.”
In the end, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps announces that council is going ahead with regulating the industry.
“What this does is set in motion for every cannabis dispensary to apply for a rezoning.”
Each one of the city’s dispensaries will have to apply for rezoning at a cost of $7500, and a business license, another $5,000.
“Our rules were praised as very fair, very even. And so for those who don’t comply with these new fair and even rules, there will be consequences.”
But at the smoking lounge, The Green Ceiling, owner Ashley Abraham says she’ll keep her doors open.
“Am I going to be closing the doors to the people who come in here, who are needing it? Absolutely not. Nope.”
Abraham opened the Green Ceiling in the spring.
It doesn’t sell marijuana, but clients pay $5 an hour to smoke weed.
This area in and around Quadra Street, is home to four marijuana related businesses, all within walking distance.
But the new regulations stipulate they must be separated by 200 metres.
“With the regulations coming in place, and with them allowing the licensing of cannabis dispensaries, there’s going to be even more of a need for spaces like this.”
With at least 38 dispensaries within Victoria, there’s even an app that allows users to locate open storefronts, or even who delivers.
It’s expected that number will change by the end of the year.
“We are creating a regulatory regime that is fair and evenhanded. And we expect people to comply with it. It’s that simple.”