The City of Vancouver has sent letters to a handful of medical marijuana dispensaries to let them know they have met new zoning and business licensing regulations.
Out of the 176 applications received by the Aug. 21 deadline, 11 marijuana shops have been given the green light in stage one of the process.
The city says those businesses that meet zoning requirements can now move on to stages two and three, which include inspections.
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The new rules require dispensaries to stay at least 300 meters away from schools, community centers and other marijuana-related businesses.
The applicants that were approved are eligible to move forward with a development permit review, which includes an opportunity for public input.
The development permit process for these applicants is expected to begin in early November.
The city says the rest of the applications do not meet zoning requirements. These applicants will receive a letter from the city, stating they will have six months to find a different site that meets all zoning requirements and submit a development permit for the new location.
Applicants that applied by the deadline and are already operating by the time they receive their zoning letter will be allowed to continue operating for up to six months. Applicants that do not meet the six-month relocation deadline will be removed from the first intake and be subject to enforcement action.
The city says businesses that did not apply for a licence prior to the deadline will have to close their doors immediately or be subject to enforcement action.
The city of Vancouver voted to regulate the marijuana industry in June. In September, Health Canada warned Vancouver pot dispensaries they could face a police crackdown. The agency has sent a letter to 13 pot shops stating they must suspend all activities with controlled substances and commit to doing so in writing by September 21st.
Earlier this summer, Health Minister Rona Ambrose directed the agency to take a stiffer approach to marijuana advertising.