First 4 Vancouver marijuana dispensaries denied business licence appeals

Vancouver's board of variance has denied the first four appeals from marijuana dispensaries hoping to reverse the city's refusal to grant them a business licence.

Board of variance expected to hear from 58 more shop owners who were denied licences

62 marijuana dispensaries are appealing to the city's board of variance after they were not given licences to sell marijuana at storefronts in the city. (CBC)

Vancouver's board of variance has denied the first four appeals from marijuana dispensaries hoping to reverse the city's refusal to grant them a business licence.

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. 

Most of the shops had their licences denied because they were too close to schools, community centres, or other marijuana dispensaries.

"I'm hoping not everyone is putting their eggs in one basket, hoping the board of appeals will grant them their application," said Vancouver chief licensing inspector Andrea Toma.

She said there are still options for dispensaries that were denied a licence, but they should be looking for another location to set up shop.

"We've said, 'We're here to help you if you can find a viable location,'" Toma said. 

The remaining 58 appeals will appear in front of the board of variance until mid-November.

Dispensaries denied a licence have six months to close up shop from when the city denied their application. 

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