04/28/2015 15:05 EDT | Updated 06/28/2015 01:12 EDT

Most Vancouver pot shops to be forced to move if regulations approved

VANCOUVER - Fewer than 20 of the 80 medical marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver would likely be allowed to stay where they are if the city approves a plan to regulate the illegal businesses.City manager Penny Ballem has presented a report to city council recommending that it adopt new regulations to license and impose limits on the booming pot industry.The new rules would require pot shops to be 300 metres away from schools, community centres and each other, meaning most would be forced to move.But Ballem says the rules could also create new capacity for marijuana-related businesses, potentially increasing the number of stores to 100.The decision on which dispensaries could stay would depend on a ranking based on the number of complaints and police incidents, and where two nearby shops have the same rank a lottery would decide which one gets to stay.Councillors asked tough questions of Ballem — including why the city apparently hasn't attempted to stop the runaway growth of pot shops — before referring the report to a public hearing.