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License appeals begin for Vancouver marijuana dispensaries

Vancouver marijuana shops not offered business licences will appeal the city’s decision in front of the board of variance beginning Wednesday.

In June 2015 Vancouver city council voted to regulate and license medical marijuana retailers, making it the first city in Canada to do so. But by late October, only six per cent of those who applied were successful. 7

Chuck Varabioff is the owner of the B.C. Pain Society on Commercial Drive, which had its licence application denied last year.

He says he’s appealing because his society has many members, is close to SkyTrain, and has low prices.

“Our customers are extremely dependent on our location, and also, we have 1,800 square feet of parking in the back parking lot,” he told On The Coast guest host Michelle Eliot.

“We have HandyDart bringing handicapped people in there, we have full handicapped access, and we’re doing a number of things to help improve the neighbourhood.”

The board is expected to hear from 62 dispensary owners by November. Until their appeals are exhausted, the shops are allowed to continue to operate.

If their final appeals are denied, the dispensaries will have to close down shortly thereafter.

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