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Map: Eight Vancouver marijuana shops move forward in permit process

Notification letters have been sent out to neighbours of eight marijuana shops seeking licences in Vancouver.

Products for sale at a West End dispensary in Vancouver.

Emily Jackson/Metro

Products for sale at a West End dispensary in Vancouver.

Eight stores have taken the lead in the race to be Vancouver’s first “legal” marijuana shop.

The City of Vancouver has revealed the addresses of the eight stores farthest along in the process to get a development permit and business licence for a medical marijuana-related business.

Located across the city, from Kitsilano and West Point Grey to Renfrew-Collingwood and Sunset, these shops were previously zoned for use as hair salons, barber shops, general offices and retail stores.

It’s the first time the city has disclosed the locations of stores most likely to succeed under the city’s new scheme to regulate marijuana dispensaries. Of the 176 applicants to the program, only 11 were located in permitted zones and were at least 300 metres away from schools, community centres, youth facilities and other marijuana-related businesses.

Thirty other businesses met all the initial requirements aside from being too close to other marijuana-related shops, so the city is ranking them to see which ones get to stay put.

For the eight shops moving ahead, the city sent letters late last week to the stores’ neighbours to give them a chance to provide written feedback on the applications by Christmas Eve.

While dispensaries are not legal in Canada, the city moved to regulate them in order to collect business fees and to decrease the risks to youth. There are more than 100 dispensaries in Vancouver, making them as common as Starbucks.

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