DISPENSARY LICENSING

On June 24, 2015, Vancouver City Council announced that it was going to be the first city in Canada to regulate and license medical marijuana dispensaries. Applicants have two months to submit a complete application for review, and if successful, pay upwards of $30,000 a year for a business license to operate. Competition is expected to be fierce amongst existing dispensaries and newcomers alike, and only the highest quality applications will be considered for approval by the council. In addition to securing a proper location for the retail dispensary business, applicants will be required to submit the following paperwork as part of the application:

  • Security Plan
  • Contact Information for Responsible Person(s)
  • List of the names of all staff, including photo identification and a Police Information Check
  • Proof of security alarm contract
  • Proof of Professional Qualifications of health-care practitioners
  • Certificate of Title of the Lease for the Business Premises
  • Documented policies or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) pertaining to:
    • Employee Health and Safety
    • Fire Systems and Prevention
    • Security Systems and Procedures
    • Loss Prevention
    • Advertising and Display Guidelines
    • Protection of Minors
    • Identification
    • Prevention of Nuisances (including noise, odours, and patient misconduct)

In addition, retail medical marijuana businesses which function as Compassion Clubs will need to: 

  • Provide proof of Registration as a Society under the BC Society Act
  • Provide proof of Trade Association Membership with the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD)
  • Draft a business plan which outlines additional health-care services offered as part of the Compassion Club designation
  • Provide business information to the Chief License Inspector, including hours of operation, and proof of membership of health care providers to any applicable professional association
  • Have a Constitution and documented By-Laws, Annual General Meeting (AGM), regular meetings, membership, and voting rights

Compassion Club: any person who carries on a retail business in which the use of medical marijuana for medicinal purposes is advocated, in conjunction with non-medical marijuana related health services that are provided at least 60% of the the time that the club is open for business (e.g., Reiki, Nutritional Counselling, Psychological Counselling, Chinese Medicine, and massage therapy).


TAU Consultants will work with you to navigate Vancouver's strict licensing requirements.


Our Services Include:

  • A free in-person or over-the-phone confidential consultation to help us understand your needs, and how we can help you submit an application to Vancouver City Council
  • Preparation of a complete, high-quality dispensary application, including drafting of business and operation plans, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Assessment and written report of your current business operations
  • Due-diligence of your dispensary location(s) as per Vancouver’s new By-laws (includes physical site inspection, neighbourhood assessment, and computer-based GIS analysis)
  • Stakeholder engagement and consultation, including coordination of letters of support from neighbours and/or petitions
  • Liaison services between you, your business partners and employees, and the City of Vancouver
  • Coordination of an application to the Board of Variance for special permission to stay within the buffer zones imposed by city staff, including stakeholder consultation
  • Incorporation of your compassion club as a corporation or non-profit organization under the BC Society Act
  • Application for a Trade Association Membership with the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD)
  • Coordination of high-quality security plans from local specialized security firms
  • Assisting with organizing criminal background checks for you and your employees
  • Customized legal services related to the medical marijuana industry
  • Business and Transaction Advisory, including marketing your business effectively, navigating multiple potential deal structures, and minimizing your tax burden
  • Development of a business plan for your medical marijuana dispensary
  • Coordination and interpretation of third party laboratory analysis, and in-house laboratory design, set-up, calibration, and staff training (e.g., GC, HPLC, Spectroscopy)