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City goes after Marc Emery business licences

April 2nd, 2009 · 10 Comments

Oh, here we go again. There’s a show-cause hearing scheduled next week to look at where the following businesses should be allowed to retain their city business licence. As you all know, the city doesn’t schedule these hearings unless the answer is pretty well: No f’ing way.

Avalon Sunsplash Ltd. dba 420 Convenience Store at 316 West Hastings Street
and dba Cannabis Culture Magazine and Pot TV (Administrative Office) at
201 – 303 West Hastings Street
and dba Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Headquarters (Retail Store) at
307 West Hastings Street

The last time there was a showdown between the city and the Marc Emery marijuana empire was in the 1999, when the city had a long list of complaints about his businesses, which are detailed here.That’s when Philip Owen was mayor, Sam Sullivan was still a councillor and the city was determined to clean up those scruffy people from the streets.

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  • not running for mayor

    I saw that meeting posted last night as well and it has me wondering. I don’t have any insight into the matter so I’m in the dark as much as anyone. One would have to assume the city has something very solid because this will draw a lot of negative anti-2010 publicity if they don’t. will be a fun council meeting I’m sure, I’m curious if their license is yanked if they will acutally close shop.

  • Because of Emery’s celebrity, this is unfortunately playing out as the City targeting him specifically.

    The real story is that the City has done its utmost since the early 1990s to shut down problem premises on Hastings, a legacy of Judy Rogers. This wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad thing, except there was/is no strategy to deal with the aftermath, which is the situation today where the drug scene is entirely on the streets and in the alleys, making the area extremely unwelcoming for the squeaky-clean businesses the City wants on Hastings Street.

    They’re likely counting on the opening of Woodward’s to turn that around for this little part of the Hastings strip. But even if that succeeds, it’s unlikely to spread very far east. The recent closure of Save-On Meats and The Only won’t help matters either.

    For the City’s DTES revitalization strategy to actually work, perhaps they should consider paying a colony of Mennonites to relocate to the area.

  • Are they trying to get people worked up in time to celebrate 4/20?

  • blaffergassted

    Is Vision following the same path as the federal NDP from last fall’s election, when they ousted every one of the “pro-pot” candidates?

    Or did this move begin deep in the city’s bureaucracy?

    Regardless, the NDP seems quite willing to give the marijuana decriminalization issue to the Liberals.

  • Marc Emery is the leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party, which has operated from 307 West Hastings since 2001. In addition to the BC Marijuana Party, the building also houses Cannabis Culture Magazine, Pot-TV studios, and the Cannabis Culture Headquarters retail store.

    From 2001 to 2007, the ground-level store operated as the BC Marijuana Party Headquarters & Bookstore. In May 2008, the ground-level store was renamed “Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Headquarters” and the second and third (top) levels of the building were leased from the landlord. After $140,000 of extensive renovations and upgrades, the second and third floors have been transformed from dark, filthy, unsafe spaces into the clean, modern, comfortable BC Marijuana Party Headquarters office and Vapour Lounges.

    At the same time, Marc Emery invested $55,000 to renovate the old, ugly and shutting-down “Neighbourhood Food Stop” convenience store at 316 W. Hastings, opening it as a well-stocked, clean, attractive convenience store called “420 Convenience”. The local community needs a variety store for the students, workers and residents, so “420 Convenience” is a welcome business on the block.

    Considering the economic benefits: Marc Emery contributes large amounts of money to the government and local economy. In 2008, his businesses collected and remitted $124,000 in PST to the Province of British Columbia. Marc employs 28 people, with annual payroll taxes exceeding $112,000 paid to the Governments of Canada and BC. In addition, $1.2 million was spent in 2008 buying legal goods and foods from legitimate businesses in the Lower Mainland. Marc also pays $11,000 in property taxes for the buildings he occupies.

    In light of Marc Emery’s significant contributions to Vancouver and BC, City Council should wholeheartedly support his application for business licenses.

  • Darcy McGee

    I suppose there’s no personal bias there Jodie. We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. You seem like a nice, rational, balanced lady…who’s married to Marc Emery.

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    The day Marc Emery is sent to an American prison, for a very long time, will be a day that those who know the scourge of drugs can breathe a little easier.

    The man is a menace to society and notwithstanding his wife’s mind-numbing pap above, he does not deserve a licence–period.

    Name any other business that operates in, at least, the margins and gets licenced.

    Legalization fluffers and their flawed arguments can say what they want.

    It’s not coincidental that it’s called DOPE…

  • Pingback: BC Tasers, CCTV, Marc Emery, and funding the Tyee « Vancouver Moose()

  • Sam

    The scourge of that area of W. Hastings is not a business that bring suburbanite potheads down to the Victory Square area to live a little Amsterdam in Vancouver. It’s the Money Mart just down the street. There are a number of convenience stores eastward on Hastings, and Jodie is right: not one is clean, safe or as reasonable as 420 convenience. Heck, even Alex Tsakumis might feel comfortable there – it’s just like the convenience stores in Dunbar!
    The other E. Hastings stores exist solely for the purpose of selling supplies to desperate drug addicts – lighters, cigarettes and overpriced sustenance items.

    Money Mart takes a portion of all of our tax dollars through services fees charged to cash welfare cheques. They exploit poverty. Emery’s businesses exploit the munchies.

    I don’t doubt that Money Mart and the dirty convenience stores pay taxes and benefit the economy, but they do so at the expense of the weak and sick. Potheads are generally productive members of society, pay taxes and are law abiding – archaic drug laws notwithstanding.

    And Alex, many of those pharmacies and convenience stores (many of them have active drug dealing – hard, dangerous drugs – occurring within their premises) “operate in, at least, the margins and get licenced. ”

    I invite you to take a stroll and stop in some of the pizza places, corner stores and bars of the Hastings/Main area and compare what you see there to what you see at Emery’s businesses and then pass judgment on what is a scourge.

  • Carlos A Barrueco

    At 53 and a former pot head,and several months after viewing the bru ha ha surounding Marc Emery on the National Geography Channel on cable TV, my no agenda curiosity brought me to this site. I have read the above comments and felt compelled to share. As concerns the blight: perhaps the authorities should consider using the power of eminent domain to eradicate what ever abandoned and/or dilapidated properties have persisted without any intent on the part of the holders of the deeds. These properties should be zoned for dual use such as 50% residential/50% commercial on structures with two flights,and 67% residential on structures comprised of at least 3 but no more than 5 flights. Anything above 5 flights can be considered for as need basis only and only after is sufficient the influx of residents to support a sustained and for the initial economic recovery. Withstanding and toward that cause,rather than just collected menial taxes on empty and useless real estate using the antiquated tax laws,a revised tax law should be legislated to triple the present tax levy on properties that due to commercial inactivity fail to bring in higher ratables for a period of one year,and then a doubling for each and every subsequent fiscal tax period. Should none tax paid foreclosure become a reality,then the government should vanilla box the structures and lease them for commercial use at fair market value,and for residential use for low and middle income families and individuals.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY: Anyone convicted of directly contributing to the delinquancy of a minor or of endangering thier health and welfare by way of facilitating to them any illegal drugs,wheather naturaly grown or manufactured and/or with or without a valid prescription from a licensed physician shall pay dearly in terms of a heavy fime comensurate with thier income not withstanding the loss of real estate and the privilege of doing business or holding residence in the immediate area of economic recovery

    Enough said!