Vancouver cannabis retailer La Canapa Boutique applies to open new store

The Vancouver cannabis company currently operates two shops in the city.

The City of Vancouver received an application for a cannabis store on Granville Street. Photo from La Canapa social media

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For many aspiring cannabis retailers, Vancouver presents a tough city to set up shop.

In particular, the municipality charges a steep business licence fee, which amounted to $33,958 in 2020.

As Vancouver councillor Rebecca Bligh noted previously, comparable annual business fees come at much lower rates than cannabis.

For example, the city requires liquor retailers a yearly fee of $429.

Moreover, other cities in B.C. charge lower business fees. To illustrate, Victoria requires a $5,000 annual licence.

But changes are expected. These follow approval by council on February 18, 2021 of Bligh’s motion for a new fee structure.

At the time, Bligh noted to CannCentral in an interview that Vancouver has 37 licenced cannabis stores.

The number has since grown to 45 as of this post Tuesday (May 25).

La Canapa Boutique operates two of these stores. In particular, the retailer runs its businesses on Main and Dunbar streets.

The company has also filed a development application for another location at 8002 Granville Street.

The application proposes to convert the southeast corner of Granville Street and East 64th Avenue to cannabis store.

A coffee shop used to operate at this location in the city’s Marpole neighbourhood.

Vancouver to accept comment on proposed cannabis shop

The City of Vancouver will receive comments from the public about the application until June 4.

If approved, La Canapa Boutique will open seven days a week at the 1,452-square-foot shop.

Recreational cannabis became legal in Canada on October 17, 2018.

In connection with this development, the number of stores has steadily increased across the country.

To illustrate, Statistics Canada stated in a report that there were 1,445 shops in the fourth quarter of 2020.

This figure represents a nearly eight-fold increase from 182 during the fourth quarter of 2018 following legalization.

Statistics Canada released ‘Looking back from 2020, how cannabis use and related behaviours changed in Canada’ on April 21, 2021.

Moreover, author Michelle Rotermann cited a finding from a 2020 national cannabis survey that more people now buy legal cannabis.

Rotterman noted that 68.4 percent of users obtained “some of  the cannabis they consumed from a legal source”.

The author wrote that this is “nearly three times higher than before legalization in 2018 (22.9%)”. She added that rate is “also higher than just after legalization in 2019 (47.4%)”.

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter at @carlitopablo

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