In a groundbreaking move for the country, Vancouver is set to become Canada’s first city to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

The picturesque city, sitting on Canada’s far reaching West Coast is known to have a “relaxed” approach to cannabis. This is exemplified by the fact that the number of technically illegal dispensaries open in the city is around 80; around half of the dispensaries in Canada.

While this change in regulations has legitimized Vancouver’s flourishing medical marijuana market, strict conditions will be put in place that could jeopardise the future of already established individual dispensaries in the city.

Every Vancouver dispensary will now be required to obtain a special business license, pay a $30,000 permit fee and must not operate within certain distances of schools or community centres. This news has been met with some trepidation for Marijuana activists and dispensary owners in the city who believe that these regulations are in fact a backward step.

Dana Larsen, founder of a British Columbia based cannabis activist group voiced concern over the decision, especially as not one city official contacted a local dispensary operator regarding the decision.

However, most industry experts believe that this is a positive move, not just for Vancouver, but for Canada in general, While up to two-thirds of the current dispensaries will close, the regulated market in the city will still be enough to service the citizens of Vancouver – this time, legitimately.