CANADA: Vancouver City Councillors voted in favour of new rules to regulate the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries today, despite threats from the federal government and controversy about certain provisions in the regulations.
Councillors – who unanimously supported the concept of legal medical marijuana storefronts – voted 8 to 3 in support of the new rules that, if enforced, would mean the closure of many of Vancouver’s estimated 100 dispensaries.
Medical marijuana patients, caregivers and activists who spoke to City Council in public hearings over the last two weeks raised numerous concerns about the new regulations, which would also ban baked marijuana edibles and create a $30,000 licensing fee for stores that make a profit. An amendment to the rules means not-for-profit dispensaries will be charged only $1000.
Some councillors raised concerns about proximity rules that would see many of the current stores shut down and the rules against edibles, but none of them proposed any further amendments, instead voting for or against the rules the way they currently stand.