On December 13, 2021, Coquitlam Council approved the proposed Cannabis Regulatory Framework, including amendments to the Zoning Bylaw, Business Licence Bylaw, Bylaw Notice Enforcement Bylaw, and Municipal Ticket Information Bylaw. The framework provides regulations on the locations and operations of cannabis production and processing facilities and retail stores in the City of Coquitlam. The associated Cannabis Production, Processing, and Retail Policy and Procedure provides additional guidance for the review of cannabis related applications, including the establishment of a cannabis retail store application intake period, review process, and evaluation criteria.
Cannabis Regulatory Framework Public Engagement
Feedback on the City's approach to regulating cannabis-related businesses in Coquitlam was gathered in a survey in early 2021. The feedback obtained was used to inform the City's Cannabis Regulatory Framework.
Cannabis Retail Stores
Zoning approval has been granted for six cannabis retail stores in the City, and applications for additional stores are not being considered at this time. The overall Cannabis Regulatory Framework will be reviewed in 2024, and the possibility of allowing additional stores will be considered through this process.
On October 17, 2018, the federal government’s Cannabis Act came into force, legalizing the sale and consumption of non-medical cannabis, subject to additional provincial and local regulation. Since then, the City of Coquitlam has conducted background research and public engagement to develop its own Cannabis Regulatory Framework to provide regulations on cannabis production, processing, and retail stores in the City. On December 13, 2021, Coquitlam Council approved the proposed Cannabis Regulatory Framework, including amendments to the Zoning Bylaw, Business Licence Bylaw, Bylaw Notice Enforcement Bylaw, and Municipal Ticket Information Bylaw.
Cannabis legalization is a complex process that involves coordination between all three levels of government.
The federal government is responsible for the legalization of non-medical cannabis under the Cannabis Act as well as related impaired driving amendments to the Criminal Code. Learn more at canada.ca/cannabis.
The provincial government regulates how cannabis is consumed including minimum purchase and consumption age, possession limits, and wholesale and retail distribution. Learn more at gov.bc.ca/cannabis.
Local governments have the authority to regulate certain aspects of the cannabis industry, including if and where cannabis-related businesses such as production and processing facilities and retail stores may be located, and how these businesses may be approved. Local governments may also establish further standards for how cannabis-related businesses operate.
Smoking and vaping cannabis falls within the existing regulations in the City’s Smoking Control Bylaw. This means smoking and vaping cannabis is not allowed in any location prohibited in the bylaw which includes, for example, City parks, transit shelters, and places of public assembly.
In addition to the City’s Smoking Control Bylaw, there are consumption rules applicable throughout B.C. in the Province’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act. Generally, those regulations allow smoking cannabis on private residential properties; however, private rules and regulations such as strata bylaws and residential tenancy agreements could also apply.