Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jan 2018
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Stephanie Ip
Page: A6


Food vendors had filed complaints about cannabis sales near art

An open-air weed market operating in downtown Vancouver's Robson
Square has been shut down by police.

Complaints were filed in recent weeks with the Vancouver police over
vendors who had set up tents and carts in the pedestrian-only area,
selling cannabis and related products.

Nearby food cart vendors voiced concerns about marijuana booths
selling to minors, and there were questions about whether they had
business licences, such as what is required of the food cart vendors.

Sgt. Jason Robillard confirmed Monday that Vancouver police had
descended upon the block on Robson between Hornby and Howe late Sunday

"There has been some police response related to the activity at the
Vancouver Art Gallery," he said in an emailed statement. "However, we
do not have additional information to provide at this point."

Dillon McArdle said he was at Robson Square on Sunday when police
raided the retailers at about 10:30 p.m. He said he has been part of
what he calls a cannabis protest at Robson Square for two years.
During that time, he said, police have raided it five times.

McArdle was back Monday morning with a dozen or so others who were, at
first, giving away pot. When that supply ran out, they started selling
for $5 a gram, the equivalent of $141.50 an ounce. At a medical
dispensary, cannabis can cost up to $290 an ounce. "We want everyone
to receive cannabis at a reasonable cost," he said.

He said all proceeds from sales of cannabis would go toward covering
bail for Dave Hill, one of two people arrested Sunday.

In the past, similar open cannabis markets have sprung up on the north
side of the art gallery, although usually only on April 20 of each
year as part of a public rally in support of marijuana

The rally-turned-celebration has outgrown the north plaza in recent
years and, in 2016, was moved to Sunset Beach. Some 40,000 people were
estimated to have attended the 2017 gathering.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt