Rogue pot shops flout Vancouver’s medical marijuana bylaws and remain open

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Courtesy of National Post

VANCOUVER — They are ubiquitous, still. Marijuana dispensaries, ranging in style from pristine to slightly scary to plain sad, continue to offer illicit products in Vancouver, despite an expensive effort by city officials to limit their number with rules and enforcement provisions unique in Canada.

The pot shop bylaws, which came into effect this year, are supposed to stop cannabis impresarios from operating with typical impunity, dealing products near schools and community centres, and at all hours.

Dispensaries began to proliferate in Vancouver about four years ago, when police quit trying to enforce federal prohibitions on retail marijuana sales. By 2015, no fewer than 100 illegal dispensaries were in business.

A few shops disappeared after the city’s new “medical marijuana” bylaws came into effect two months ago, but rogue dispensaries still outnumber licensed stores by a staggering 2,250 per cent, according to statistics provided by city officials this week.

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