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Cannabis Culture to close three of its illegal pot shops in Vancouver

"The city is saying that they are going to use every means at their disposal, including jail, arrests and fines and that was reiterated today," Jodie Emery said.
Cannabis Culture issued 50 layoff notices to staff on Tuesday as it prepares to close its three unlicensed marijuana stores by the end of the month.

Cannabis Culture on Davie Street in Vancouver. Gerry Kahrmann / PNG

“It’s been a terrible day,” said Jodie Emery, who owns the Cannabis Culture brand and stores. “Unfortunately, we have to close three of our Cannabis Culture locations in the city. There were lots of tears and it’s been very difficult.”

The Cannabis Culture flagship store, which operates as a bong shop and vapour lounge at 307 West Hastings St., will remain open.

The three locations that will close are at 3175 West Broadway, 920 Davie Street and 3421 East Hastings Street.

Emery said her legal team had been in ongoing negotiations with the City of Vancouver’s lawyers.

“The city is saying that they are going to use every means at their disposal, including jail time, arrests and fines and that was reiterated today,” Emery said.

FILE PHOTO: Jodie and Marc Emery pose for photographs at the Cannabis Culture store on Church Street in Toronto, Ontario on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. The store was subsequently closed. VSUNwp

The noose has been tightening around Vancouver’s remaining 28 illegal marijuana shops since last month, when the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in favour of the city in its efforts to have those stores close.

Until the Oct. 17, 2018, legalization of pot sale and use the city had tolerated marijuana stores and even created a set of operating guidelines, such as required distances from schools and other pot shops. The businesses that did not abide by those rules were served injunctions to close in 2016, and that led to the court case.

All cannabis stores in Vancouver now require a municipal development permit, a provincial licence and a municipal business licence to operate.

Last week, the City of Vancouver announced it had issued its first three business licences to retail cannabis outlets at 2868 West 4th Ave., 610 Robson St. and 7289 Fraser St. All pot at these store is supplied by the B.C. government through the Liquor Distribution Branch.

The city also revealed it would again seek injunctions against all illegal pot stores in the city.

In a prepared statement, the city wrote “Should there be non-compliance with the court order, it is open to the city to commence contempt of court proceedings to obtain compliance with the court’s order. The city will continue to work with the non-compliant operators to ensure timely compliance with the court order.”

[source: / published: January 8. 2019]


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