Recreational use of cannabis was legalized in Canada in October 2018. Many of the regulations surrounding cannabis are enacted by the provincial and federal governments. Bowen Island Municipality is responsible for setting out land use regulations for the production and sale of cannabis.
Council has adopted changes to the Land Use Bylaw that prohibit the cultivation, production, packaging, storage, distribution, trading, or selling of cannabis in all zones on Bowen Island. The exception is where these uses are permitted as a farm use, where permitted for medical purposes, or where specifically permitted through a Temporary Use Permit or a rezoning application.
The intention of this bylaw is not to prohibit the recreational consumption of cannabis, but to regulate where cannabis is produced and sold on Bowen Island.
Land Use Amendment Bylaw 455, 2018 requires rezoning applications for recreational cannabis retail to be considered by Council and the community on a case-by-case basis. The Municipality could then spot-zone to allow cannabis sales after community input has been received.
More on Cannabis Legislation
The federal government is involved with most questions around cannabis legalization, such as possession limits, taxation, regulatory compliance, and education. It has also established minimum regulatory standards that each province may uphold or further restrict.
The federal government legalized the recreational use of cannabis on October 17, 2018. This was not contemplated when Bowen Island’s Land Use Bylaw was adopted in 2002, so Council needed to adopt an amendment bylaw that would place a blanket prohibition on the production, distribution, and retail sale of cannabis on Bowen Island.
If the federal government says cannabis is legal, how can the municipality prohibit it?
The intention of Bylaw 455 is not to prohibit the recreational consumption of cannabis, but to regulate where cannabis is produced and sold and Bowen Island.
Each level of government (federal, provincial and municipal) has different jurisdiction over the regulation of cannabis. See the table below for examples.
Cannabis production Cannabis possession limits Trafficking Advertising Minimum age limits Oversight of medical cannabis regime, including personal cultivation registration
Wholesale and retail distribution of cannabis Selection of retail distribution model Workplace safety Discretion to set more restrictive limits for: minimum age for consumption possession amount
Zoning (density, location) Retail locations Home cultivation Business Licensing Building Codes Nuisance and odours Smoking restrictions Regulations around public consumption
Can the Municipality regulate cannabis consumption?
The Municipality has the authority to set regulations around public consumption, similar to public consumption of tobacco, but this bylaw only deals with land use regulations.
Why not just allow cannabis sales in zones where other businesses operate?
The location, scale and density of cannabis cultivation and retail stores will impact the Bowen Island community. Commercial cultivation presents challenges ranging from odours and chemicals to use of municipal water. Retail stores influence the social and economic character of the community, and residents may have concerns about proximity to parks and schools.
Bylaw 455 requires rezoning applications for recreational cannabis retail to be considered by Council and the community on a case-by-case basis. The Municipality could then spot-zone to allow cannabis sales after community input has been received.
Will I be able to grow and/or sell cannabis on my farm?
You will be able to grow cannabis on your farm, as long as the property is located within the Agricultural Land Reserve and you comply with regulations under the Agricultural Land Commission Act.
Please ensure you are in compliance with these regulations before growing cannabis on your farm. Visit the Agricultural Land Commission website at www.alc.gov.bc.ca for more information.
Will I need a licence to grow or sell cannabis?
Yes, the provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) is responsible for licensing non-medical cannabis private stores and monitoring the non-medical cannabis retail sector. Visit LCRB’s non-medical cannabis retail licence page for information about becoming a non-medical medical cannabis retailer in BC.
Will I be able to smoke cannabis in public?
You must comply with restrictions set by the provincial and federal governments, which include but are not limited to:
You must be 19 years of age or older
Smoking and vaping of cannabis is prohibited everywhere tobacco smoking and vaping is prohibited, as well as at playgrounds, sports fields and other places where children commonly gather, or an indoor public place
Consumption of cannabis is prohibited on school properties and in vehicles
There are other restrictions set by the federal Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Please make sure you are aware of all restrictions before consuming cannabis in public and/or driving a vehicle.
The federal government allows people to grow up to four plants for home consumption. Does the Municipality have the authority to regulate that?
While the Municipality does have the authority to regulate personal production of cannabis, the intent of this bylaw is to deal with land use related to commercial production, distribution and retail sale of cannabis.
It was Moved and Seconded That the Advisory Planning Commission support Bylaw No. 455, 2018 regarding the regulation of cannabis, as presented at its Monday, April 16, 2018 meeting with the following comment:
That Council not apply unduly restrictive conditions to future commercial applications, including but not limited to, location and process.