Cannabis Legalization Framework


It is currently illegal to import, grow, process, sell, possess, or use cannabis products in Canada, except in the limited context of licensed medical activities. However, the federal government is in the process of adopting the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) and related impaired driving amendments to the Criminal Code (Bill C-46) that will allow the provinces and local governments to regulate the sale of recreational cannabis.

The Province of B.C. released a position statement on Feb. 5, 2018 on a number of policy areas related to recreational cannabis, including home cultivation limits, possession limits, public space consumption, and an intended public/private retail model. The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (Bill 30), Cannabis Distribution Act (Bill 31), and Motor Vehicle Amendment Act (Bill 17) were then introduced on April 26, 2018.

While the position statement and related legislation provide direction as to how recreational cannabis in British Columbia will be regulated, regulations have not yet been released to specify the types of licences over which local governments will have oversight.

Interim Regulations

In anticipation of the legalization of non-medical cannabis, the City adopted an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw on April 30, 2018. These amendments maintain the status quo, allowing medical cannabis grow operations in certain industrial areas under set conditions and no other cannabis-related uses. A copy of the report outlining the interim regulations is available here.

Next Steps

The City of Coquitlam will be developing a final “Cannabis Legalization Framework”, identified as a priority in the City’s 2018 Business Plan, following the ​adoption of the final provincial Regulations.

Community and stakeholder feedback is critical to the development of the Framework. The City will be reaching out to residents and businesses once additional information on the provincial legislation for non-medical cannabis is available.

Planning ​& Development Department
Chris McBeath – Major Project Planner