Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose is not a fan of Vancouver, British Columbia. More specifically, she’s not a fan of Vancouver city council, who voted to regulate and license marijuana outlets in Vancouver. Minister Ambrose and the mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, were quite vocal in their differing viewpoints on the subject. Minister Ambrose denounced all marijuana dispensaries as illegal and called on the city to shut them down, while, Vancouver city council ignored Minister Ambrose’s demands and voted in favour of a bylaw recognizing and regulating marijuana dispensaries.
The new bylaw charges retailers a $30,000 license fee and restricts retail stores from opening within 300 metres of other marijuana dispensaries, schools, and community centres. The new bylaw also restricts the sale of edible products, with the exception of edible oils, and makes Vancouver the first city in Canada to regulate and license marijuana dispensaries.
Given the restrictions on where dispensaries can be located, it is expected that some of the 100 or so dispensaries in Vancouver mayneed to relocate. The proliferation of pot shops in Vancouver make relocating a difficult task; however, there are advantages:while Minister Ambrose has called on police to “enforce the law”, it appears that police are acknowledging the new bylaw and are not taking action against marijuana dispensaries.