Business licence fees charged to cannabis retail stores ranges as high as $30,000, compared to just a few hundred dollars for normal business licences.
The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch has confirmed it will pay application and business licensing fees to municipalities for cannabis retail shops that are many thousands of dollars more expensive than other business fees.
The province has paid the City of Kamloops for a $5,000 business licence and an application fee of $1,600 required to open a government-owned cannabis retail store.
By contrast, a liquor store business licence is $196.
“We aren’t saying we would pay any fee,”said branch spokeswoman Vivana Zanocco. “The fees charged by municipalities could be a factor in deciding where the branch will locate government stores.”
The branch will be the sole legal wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis products in B.C. and plans to operate government-owned retail shops in addition to licensing privately-owned retail shops when recreational cannabis becomes legal under federal law on Oct. 17.
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