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Apr 10, 2018 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam to Implement Interim Measures on Cannabis

by Heather Escaravage |

COQUITLAM, BC, April 10, 2018 – The City of Coquitlam is introducing temporary measures to limit the production, distribution and sale of non-medical cannabis in the community in anticipation of legalization by the federal government.

The interim zoning regulations adopted by Council will allow the City the necessary time to appropriately review all potential policies, regulations and options, consult with residents and stakeholders, and amend the Zoning Bylaw and other related bylaws including the Business Licence Bylaw, and the Fees and Charges Bylaw.

These temporary measures are in response to the Government of Canada’s anticipated adoption of the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) and related impaired driving amendments to the Criminal Code (Bill C-46). These regulations focus on the legalization of non-medical cannabis activities and are expected to be approved in late summer 2018.

At the same time, the Province of B.C. is creating a framework around the legalization of non-medical cannabis such as the age of consumption, possession limit and wholesale and retail distribution models. The regulations put in place by the Province will determine the framework that local governments will work within.

Once cannabis is removed from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act by the federal government, the existing definitions in the City’s Zoning Bylaw will no longer apply. As a result, non-medical cannabis could legally be sold in any zones where retail sales are permitted, and these businesses could then be immune to any later zoning changes. This would mean that the City would lose the ability to regulate any of these established businesses from a zoning perspective in the future.

In order to prevent this, small changes are required to the Zoning Bylaw as an interim measure to limit the sale and distribution of marijuana until such time as the regulatory framework can be established, and the City can update its regulations with input from the community.

Putting appropriate regulations in place before the legalization of non-medical cannabis will ensure that no potentially unwanted or inappropriate businesses or uses are established in Coquitlam.

The City is planning to consult with the public and affected stakeholders on cannabis sales and distribution in the community in late 2018 or 2019.

For more information or to sign up for email updates on this topic,visit the Cannabis webpage.

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Media contact:
Andrew Merrill
Manager, Community Planning
604-927-3416