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Illegal pharmacies still operating in Vancouver three years after the cannabis law was enacted

“If you and I started a moonshine business and opened it somewhere around the corner in Vancouver, it wouldn’t last for 24 hours and VPD would come to us with a heartbeat. We’re a crime. I’m talking about the act. Open with a clear view. “— Harrison Stalker

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Three years after Canada became the first G20 country to legalize recreational marijuana, Vancouver still has eight illegal clinics.

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And legitimate retail owners who pay just under $ 34,000 a year for a Vancouver license aren’t happy with it.

Harrison Stalker, Chief Growth Officer for the Donnelly Group’s Cannabis Store, finds it ridiculous to run even one illegal store.

“If you and I started a moonshine business and opened it somewhere around the corner in Vancouver, it wouldn’t last for 24 hours, VPD would come to us with a heartbeat,” he said. Said. “We are talking about criminal activity that is open to the public.”

There are 53 fully licensed cannabis pharmacies in Vancouver, and Sarah Hicks, head of license testing, said eight were illegally operated.

“The illegal market remains a problem as new illegal cannabis’pop-ups’ continue to emerge,” said a report by a Vancouver city official.

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The Vancouver Police Department is focusing drug control priorities on organized and sophisticated producers and traffickers of hard drugs such as heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine, a spokesman said.

“The legalization of marijuana hasn’t had a significant impact on day-to-day VPD operations,” Const said. Tania Vicintin said.

Dissatisfaction is not limited to Lower Mainland: The Okanagan Cannabis Group sent a letter to the Ministry of Public Security on October 13, demanding that the state crack down on illegal weed stores and calling on its minister, Mike Fernworth. Resign.

“Since cannabis was legalized in 2018, the PSSG minister has shown that he can’t manage this file,” the letter said.

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A local safety unit (CSU) state official has seized an estimated $ 20 million worth of cannabis from more than 70 inspections, fined $ 1.2 million, and closed 173 unlicensed retailers, a spokesman for the ministry. Said on Friday.

Harrison Stalker, Chief Growth Officer of the Donnelly Group, is dissatisfied with the fact that eight illegal marijuana clinics are still in operation in Vancouver three years after the cannabis law was enacted.
Harrison Stalker, Chief Growth Officer of the Donnelly Group, is dissatisfied with the fact that eight illegal marijuana clinics are still in operation in Vancouver three years after the cannabis law was enacted. Photo by Jason Pain /PNG

The cannabis law was enacted on October 17, 2018, but industry insiders say there are still many bugs to fix.

“I had to move a mile, but I think I moved an inch,” Stoker said.

Vancouver retail cannabis retail licenses will be reduced to $ 13,500 next year and $ 5,000 in 2022 after Congress discussed and approved the bill on October 5. The license fee raised $ 1.6 million last year.

By comparison, regular Vancouver retailers cost $ 155 to $ 286 a year for business licenses, $ 429 for liquor stores, and $ 4,595 for large grocery stores (50,000 square feet).

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Comparing retail license fees for cannabis from other Lower Mainland municipalities, New Westminster is on the other side of Vancouver, charging $ 2,684 a year, according to the report.

Leaving the state, in Toronto, the Ontario government shares excise tax revenues with local governments, so there is no retail license fee for pot shops.

In BC, the public may want to know that the state isn’t doing the same thing, Stalker said.

“It’s not really in the newspaper, but it’s pretty surprising to the larger business community, and the general public, to hear that the state doesn’t share excise tax revenue with the city to handle everything. I think these files are appropriate, “he said.

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The Cannabis Control Law was designed not only to raise tax revenues that had disappeared in the black market in the past, but also to significantly downplay the illegal market, if not completely eliminated.

Other problems faced by licensed cannabis retailers are that it is illegal to compete with illegal mail-order companies and deliver cannabis unless the vehicle you use is owned or leased by the retailer. This includes the inability to use third-party delivery services.

How do I get the Spaghetti Bowl, a federal rule set by Health Canada, to be interpreted and enforced by state and city jurisdictions?

“I think we’re still in the same place as it was three years ago,” said the stalker. “Apart from the fact that everyone in the cannabis retailer is probably a little clearer about how to interpret regulatory frameworks and policies, there isn’t much change.

“That said, there are still many vague lines and many unclear points.”

gordmcintyre@postmedia.com

twitter.com/gordmcintyre

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Illegal pharmacies still operating in Vancouver three years after the cannabis law was enacted

Source link Illegal pharmacies still operating in Vancouver three years after the cannabis law was enacted

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