Cheapest place to set up shop

Published on October 28, 2018 by David Trifunov

Guess which BC city is a bargain to set up a cannabis store, rhymes with spam hoops


The oz. compared four of B.C.’s biggest cities for the best place to plant a legal cannabis store.

Listed from priciest to bargain…


Vancouver $45,824

Want to do business in Vancouver? Be prepared to pay the piper.

The ever helpful communications staff at the City of Vancouver sent us links to scatered web pages and pdf downloads. We received dozens of pages to sift through in hopes of providing accurate information, after which we can confidently say: yikes!

We can only imagine what business owners must feel like after reading 86 pages of licence by-laws. Or the 26-page schedule of fees for development and building related permits?

Comparatively, a $45,824 fee seems high to us…

Rezoning for most buildings 4,000 square metres or less will cost about $14,000, but if you have plans for the Taj Mahal of pot shops, the fee is based on square footage. Pot shops must be with a commercial zone and 300 metres from schools, community centres, “neighbourhood houses,” youth centres, and other cannabis businesses.

Victoria $12,500

You’ll have to apply for rezoning in the provincial capital, too.

A business licence in Victoria is $5,000, and a rezoning application is $7,500. The application process is reasonably straightforward, and the City of Victoria has provided this handy, dandy fact sheet for your reference.

Kelowna $10,495

They’re bragging in City Hall that Kelowna is blazing a trail for other municipalities to follow. You can bet, then, that we’ll be watching them closely. If it’s true, then we could see copycat policies sprouting across the province. Let’s hope Kelowna sets a rational example.

Prospective pot shop owners will have to pay a $1,000 application fee and then a $9,495 fee to appear before council. A seven-person committee will then evaluate the proposal.

Kamloops $6,600

“Canada’s Tournament Capital” is a downright bargain. Of course, you know Kamloops was chosen to host the first government-owned pot shop, but there’s bound to be private-sector competition considering the fee structure.

Not only that, the City of Kamloops provides an application guide to help navigate the process. Full marks to the ’Loops for an easy-to-follow application process.