Cannabis Regulatory Framework

Since cannabis became legal in 2018 and following an extensive period of background research, including a review of the approaches taken by other municipalities, the City of Coquitlam is now developing a Cannabis Regulatory Framework. The Framework will guide how the City will implement policies, guidelines, and regulations for cannabis production, processing facilities and retail stores in Coquitlam.

The City's Proposed Approach to Regulating Cannabis

The general approach proposed for considering the different types of cannabis-related businesses is as follows:

1. Production Facilities: Allow outright in areas zoned for industrial uses. Council approval would not be required for each new business.

2. Processing Facilities: Allow outright in areas zoned for industrial and business enterprise uses. Council approval would not be required for each new business.

3.  Retail Stores: Allow on a case-by-case basis in commercial areas through a rezoning process. Public consultation and Council approval would be required for each store.

Other considerations that are to be considered include minimum buffer distances from sensitive locations (e.g. playgrounds, schools) and odour management.

Public Engagement

Feedback on the City's approach to regulating cannabis-related businesses in Coquitlam was gathered in a survey, which was available Jan. 29 - Feb. 18, 2021. Staff will be reviewing the input and reporting back to Council later in the year. The feedback obtained will be used to inform the City's Cannabis Regulatory Framework.

More information is available on the City's online engagement portal at

  1. Background
  2. Cannabis Regulation in Canada
  3. Smoking Cannabis
  4. Related Documents
  5. Stay Connected

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.  In anticipation of legalization, the City adopted an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw on April 30, 2018. 

These amendments continue to allow medical cannabis grow operations in certain industrial areas under set conditions but prohibit all other cannabis-related land uses, including retail sales, at this time. A copy of the report outlining these interim regulations is available here.

Since cannabis was legalized, Coquitlam has taken a thoughtful approach to regulating cannabis-related businesses. This has included extensive background research and examining leading practices that have emerged in Metro Vancouver, B.C. and Canada as the cannabis retail industry has grown across the country.