Vancouver cannabis fees
Vancouver cannabis fees

Vancouver City Council Votes to Cut Their Ridiculously High Fees for Cannabis Retailers

Vancouver is bringing down the fees for marijuana retailers to be more inline with alcohol licenses

Posted by:
BehindTheWaves on Tuesday May 18, 2021

Vancouver Council Votes to Slash Sky-High Fees for Cannabis Retailers

Vancouver cannabis fees

Cannabis has never been a new invention in the modern world, but since the early 20th century, there has been a lot of attention on the cannabis community. Today, more than ever before, nations and cities are keen on maximizing the health and economic benefits cannabis brings to any economy. 

To enjoy the advantages cannabis brings to any nation, retailers must have unparalleled ease of doing business, and what's the one thing retailers seek? It's reduced licensing fees, of course! When retailers pay exorbitant licensing fees, it hurts the cannabis market such that it becomes even more difficult for users to have access to weed at an affordable rate. 

So what's the solution to this problem? Nations, states, and cities will need to develop sustainable ways of slashing the high fees cannabis retailers pay. Vancouver Council is taking a stand, and it is a clear sign that the province is ready for a cannabis bloom in the future.


The motion by Vancouver Council

Before the Council received the motion, cannabis retailers paid nearly ten times what liquor stores pay (annually). Such high fees greatly impacted the cannabis-regulated market, driving prices through the roof and enabling sellers in the black market. 

Cannabis sold in the black market is never a reality any country wants to accept because it is through such illegal sectors, young people start to abuse weed. Councilor Rebecca Bligh of the Vancouver Council proposed the slash, maintaining that it is a move aimed at helping licensed retailers thrive in the cannabis market. 

She hinged her decision that there is a growing concern within the Vancouver market that the illegal weed market is gradually taking over. She believes that if the fees will significantly reduce if the Council gives cannabis retailers a fairer and more equitable start.

Vancouver also risks losing its cannabis revenue if changes are not made to retailers licensing fees, as users will rather buy weed at a cheaper rate in another province. 

The Council seeks to slash the fee from its initial $34,000 annual fee to a more relatable amount that boosts the retailer's sales. Coun. Bligh described the $34,000 as a "full-time" yearly salary for an individual, making it a ridiculous licensing fee. 


The proposed slash and new recommended licensing fees 

After the motion was presented to Vancouver's Council, it was unanimously supported by the speaker and Council members. The sky-high price was introduced during the pre-legalization era, a time of extreme hardship for cannabis retailers who had to go through the back door to get products. 

Well, the world's view of cannabis has experienced a tremendous shift from being labeled "A bad thing" to becoming the darling of the health and wellness world. Despite the changes in worldview, the high licensing fees remained, and Vancouver was the worst hit. 

Interestingly, retailers in other municipalities and provinces weren't paying the same high fees as their counterparts in Vancouver. Retailers in other cities were paying $1,000 annually, making Vancouver the area higher licensing fees. 

Coun. Bligh submitted the motion calling for a drastic reduction, enabling Vancouver cannabis retailers to compete with retailers in other cities favorably. A lot of adjustments and deductions need to be made to the Vancouver fees. Otherwise, it will run the cannabis industry in the province to the ground. 


Effective implementation of the cannabis price slash 

The Council has directed its Vancouver staff to provide recommendations before the next license renewal slated for Dec.31, 2021. While retailers are holding their breath for the big announcement in December, Bligh maintains that since Vancouver knows how to manage liquor retail in cities inside the province, it will be the same for cannabis. 

Bligh also hopes that since Vancouver cannabis retailers have paid so much in licensing, the new annual retailers' fee should be at $429. Will Coun. Bligh get the city staff and Council to adopt this price slash? 

Although there are no clear-cut answers to the question, one thing remains sure: Vancouver has taken the proper steps towards protecting its cannabis market. Therefore, any reduction in licensing fees is a welcomed improvement to cannabis retailers. 

The advantages of slashing sky-high fees for Vancouver cannabis retailer 

The empowerment of the illegal cannabis industries is one reason why it is essential to have the retail licensing fees cut. When licensing fees reduce, retailers will flood the market with cannabis products sold at a fair price.

Another benefit entails making Vancouver a cannabis hub of some sort where users and enthusiasts can come around with the assurance of getting quality cannabis at a reasonable price. Cannabis users will always visit and travel all the way to purchase weed in places they term "Cannabis-friendly." 

The implication of this motion to slash cannabis licensing fees in Vancouver has led to the conclusion that the province is becoming a cannabis-friendly area. 

Before the price slash motion presented to the Council, legal cannabis shops struggled with opening new stores across Vancouver because of its exorbitant fees. If there are no shops, people will not have access to cannabis, which affects those who need it for medicinal and health reasons. 


Bottom Line 

The rise of cannabis in various states across the world is beyond astonishing, and it has continued to create jobs, thus positively stimulating the economies of the world. Cannabis retailers are a crucial part of any country's job creation sector, but in Vancouver, the high licensing fees are a threat to this thriving sector. 

Fortunately, Coun. Bligh has proposed a drastic slash in licensing fees because it is ten times higher than what liquor stores pay in the province. While there is a good case for what liquor does for users (recreationally), the benefits cannabis offers to the human body have made it an essential substance in the health and wellness community. 

Cannabis offers ever-increasing benefits to users, and for retailers to continue providing the substance at an affordable rate, their annual licensing fees need some adjustments. If Vancouver adopts this motion, it will set a positive precedent for other cities where cannabis retailers pay exorbitant prices.





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