The Government of Canada recently legalized the recreational use of cannabis, and certain federal changes allow provincial and local governments to regulate the sale of recreational cannabis. Municipalities oversee land use and zoning, as well as retail use locations and requirements, which means Port Moody Council can decide whether it will permit cannabis retail stores and, if permitted, whether it will adopt applicable guidelines and regulations. Currently, the retail sale of cannabis is not permitted in Port Moody because it is not a permitted land use in the City’s Zoning Bylaw.
On June 12, 2018, Council passed a motion directing staff to prepare an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw (No. 1890) that would include a definition of “retail cannabis store” and allow for case-by-case consideration of rezoning applications received for the retail sales of cannabis in the City. This is similar to how the City reviews liquor store applications. Future Zoning Bylaw amendments for specific retail locations would require a public hearing, so that public input may be received with each application and considerations may be made with respect to the locations of stores and proximity to schools and parks.
Council also directed staff to:
- prepare guidelines for retail cannabis stores;
- develop a public consultation process as part of a corporate policy regarding cannabis;
- develop a business licence regime for Council consideration regarding retail cannabis sales; and
- prepare an amendment to the City’s Smoking Bylaw (No. 2773), which would prohibit the smoking of cannabis in the City’s hookah lounges.
The City of Port Moody is inviting residents and business owners/operators to provide input on potential regulations for the retail sale of cannabis. Visit portmoody.ca/cannabis to view important information about federal and provincial cannabis regulations, as well as potential land use guidelines and business licence regulations that could be applied to cannabis retail stores in Port Moody. After reviewing the information, residents and business owners/operators can share their thoughts by filling out an online feedback form (paper forms are available at City Hall, 100 Newport Drive). The City also invites the public to attend an open house, happening at City Hall on November 28, 2018 from 4 to 7pm, where City staff will be available to answer questions. All feedback forms must be submitted by December 9, 2018.
In January 2019, members of Council will consider feedback from the public when making decisions about proposed regulations for the retail sale of cannabis in Port Moody.
City of Port Moody Smoking Regulation Bylaw No. 2773 was amended on July 24, 2018 to prohibit cannabis in smoking clubs. In the Smoking Bylaw, existing restrictions that apply to tobacco will apply to cannabis. Smoking of cannabis is not permitted:
- in any building that is not a dwelling (refer to Bylaw for details);
- a substantially enclosed place as defined by the Tobacco Control Act;
- school premises;
- city parks, sport venues, playgrounds or beaches;
- substantially enclosed transit shelters or mode of public transportation; and
- within 7.5 metres of any public or workplace entryway, opening window or air intake .
For more information on federal and provincial cannabis legislation, please check out the following resources: