Vancouver files court injunctions to shut down unlicensed pot shops

Injunctions aim to close 17 stores that have remained open without a business licence

VANCOUVER – The City of Vancouver is going to court in a bid to shut down medical marijuana stores that continue to operate illegally.

A statement from the city says injunctions were filed Tuesday to force the closure of 17 stores that have remained open without a business licence.

Vancouver developed regulations for marijuana dispensaries last year and began enforcing the rules this spring, handing out $250-a-day fines to shops that flouted orders to close.

Enforcement officers have handed out almost 250 bylaw violation tickets so far, and 55 stores continue to operate despite being ordered to shut down.

Twenty-one other dispensaries are currently going through the permit process and the business licences for three compassion clubs are under review.

The first business licence for a retail medical marijuana store was granted earlier this month to a shop near the University of British Columbia.