B.C. dispensaries face legalization issues

Josh Kilner / October 4, 2018

Jars of medicinal marijuana on display at Green Panda dispensary

(Landon Mcgauley / BCIT News)

With only two weeks to go until the legalization of non-medicinal cannabis, many of Vancouver’s dispensaries have yet to receive their provincial operating licenses.

As of October 17th, medical-marijuana dispensaries & compassion clubs with current development permits will require new provincial licenses in order to keep operating.

An employee from Green Panda dispensary in Vancouver, who asked not to be named, says licensing isn’t the only problem that pot-shops are facing.

“…Because we are near a school, we are getting in trouble with the city. This store will likely be shut down because of that.” – Green Panda Dispensary Employee

There are currently 19 dispensaries operating with a municipal business license in Vancouver, while 53 locations hold a development permit.

The provincial government will enforce against businesses that are not in compliance with the new legislation.

Provincial Public Affairs Officer Liam Butler says the operating licenses will be issued soon.

A quick guide to legal pot – BCIT News

An employee of Green Panda dispensary packing joints to be sold.

(Landon Mcgauley / BCIT News)

“The Province cannot issue licenses until Oct. 17th when legalization comes into force. The location of licenced stores will be included online, as with liquor establishments.” – Liam Butler, Provincial Public Affairs Officer

The B.C. Government has released application statistics for Cannabis Retail Licenses

(B.C. Government)

The Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be B.C.’s wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis.

Illegal stores could face provincial and federal charges. Those convicted of the provincial offense of selling cannabis illegally will face fines ranging from $2000 to $100,000 dollars, 12 months imprisonment or both.