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Medical marijuana shop operator defends location

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Yet another medical marijuana dispensary is opening in Vancouver.

Despite the presence of 80 such shops in the city, people are still leery Canada Bliss Herbal Society will be located in their building.

The shop will be situated at the street level of a condo complex on Hornby Street, near Beach Avenue.

Condo owners say it’s not an appropriate place for a marijuana shop.

But society director Ryan Williams isn’t taking the heat personally.

“Before us there was a health-food store. I guess the neighbours complained about them. Before them, it was a flower shop and people had a lot of problems with their signage. They don’t like anybody who moves into that space down there.”

He says people will soon realize they’re like any other small business.

“We’d just like the opportunity to show them we are not putting their safety at risk. We are fully insured, so we’re not putting the building at risk. We’re only serving people who are acting on their doctor’s diagnosis, who are legitimately using cannabis.”

He says he’s talked to a lot of neighbours who are supportive of his business, so he’s not sure which neighbours want him to leave.

A condo owner says the building’s insurance has been cancelled because of the new shop, but Williams says his business has had no problem getting insurance.

Don Briere runs the Weeds and Glass and Gifts chain of medical marijuana dispensaries and says there have been no problems with any of their four stores located in condo complexes, although he says there was neighbour resistance when the first one opened. And as far as insurance being pulled from buildings because of their presence, he says that hasn’t happened, but one condo owner did say his insurance was going up.