First retail licence granted to Vancouver marijuana dispensary

VANCOUVER – The City of Vancouver has issued its first business licence to a medical marijuana dispensary in its plan to manage the proliferation of illegal shops.

A city spokesman says the Wealth Shop Society, near the University of British Columbia, is the first to be regulated under rules established by the municipality nearly one year ago.

The city says 30 illegal marijuana stores have complied with regulations and stopped selling pot since the end of April, but 61 continue to operate against the rules.

It says nearly 140 fines of $250 each have been issued, while only seven have been paid.

The licence comes ahead of the federal government’s promise to introduce legislation next spring legalizing marijuana.

A post on the Wealth Shop’s Facebook page called getting its licence a huge day in Canadian history and says it’s excited to be part of legalization.