COQUITLAM, B.C., Jan. 29, 2021 – Coquitlam is inviting public comment on new regulations to control how businesses can grow, process and sell cannabis in the City.
Coquitlam is in the process of developing policies and regulations for cannabis-related matters that are under the control of local governments. This includes the approval, location and licensing procedures for businesses that produce, process and sell retail cannabis.
A survey available at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/cannabis from Jan. 29 to Feb. 18 will seek feedback from residents, businesses and other stakeholders as the City considers expanding the cannabis-related business activities allowed in Coquitlam. Currently, these activities are limited to medical grow operations, and the City’s proposed regulations would expand to include the recreational cannabis industry.
Approach Based on Research
Since cannabis was legalized by the federal government in 2018, 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. The proposed approach developed from this work includes the following:
- Production (including growing and harvesting): Allowed outright in industrial zones, with no Council approval required for each new business.
- Processing (including drying, curing, storing, packaging and wholesale distribution): Allowed outright in industrial and business enterprise zones, with no Council approval required for each new business.
- Retail sales: Considered on a case-by-case basis in commercial areas through a rezoning process, with public consultation and Council approval required for each store.
As the City develops its regulatory framework, it will also consider:
- Buffer zones for retail sales near sensitive sites such as schools and parks, along with other limits to the location and numbers of stores;
- Odour management beyond the new regulations being developed by Metro Vancouver;
- Potential contamination issues from any chemicals used in production and processing;
- Signage requirements to limit appeal to youth; and
- The selection process for retail outlets.
Consulting the Community
The survey will seek comment from the public on details such as:
- Where cannabis production, processing and retail sales may be allowed;
- A potential approval process for retail outlets;
- Possible retail store locations, and whether the City should put in place buffer zones from schools and parks and/or limits to numbers of stores; and
- General comments or concerns about if and how cannabis is grown, processed and sold in Coquitlam.
Consultation will take place online to comply with current public health protocols. Those who are unable to participate in online engagement can contact staff directly by phone or email for alternate options.
After the public consultation period ends, all comments received will be summarized and reflected in the revised framework and potential bylaw revisions to be considered by Council later this year. The bylaw adoption process will provide another opportunity for public feedback.
Have Your Say and Stay Informed
Visit www.coquitlam.ca/cannabis for background and information about Coquitlam’s proposed cannabis regulations, and www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/cannabis to complete the survey by Feb. 18.
Both web pages provide links to receive email updates about the Cannabis Regulatory Framework, or sign up directly at www.coquitlam.ca/notifyme.
City of Coquitlam