Downtown Eastside cannabis harm-reduction provider will close after Vancouver denies permit

published on June 8, 2018 by Perrin Grauer in The Star

VANCOUVER—A Downtown Eastside medicinal cannabis society that runs an opioid substitution program will shut its doors at the end of June because of bylaws restricting where and how dispensaries can operate.

Denise Brennan, opiate study program co-ordinator with Eden Medicinal Society, said after six months in operation, the society’s location on East Hastings can no longer afford to remain open without a business licence or development permit. Both were denied by the city under current bylaws, which prohibit dispensaries from operating within 300 metres of one another.

“It’s quite an expensive, intensive program,” she told StarMetro. “It’s more than $5,000 a month just to have the doors open, so in the absence of any way to generate revenue — because we can’t get a business licence to do that — it’s not possible to maintain long term.”

With operational costs included, the price tag to run Eden and its programming exceeds $15,000 per month, an Eden spokesperson told StarMetro.

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