The City of Port Moody is preparing for the legalization of cannabis by ensuring local bylaws are coordinated with new federal and provincial legislation.
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 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 smoking of cannabis in the City’s hookah lounges is now prohibited, as Council adopted an amendment to the Smoking Bylaw on July 10, 2018. It’s expected that Council will consider additional proposed guidelines and regulations, as well as a proposed public consultation plan, in September 2018.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does Port Moody allow for retail cannabis sales?
A: Not at this time. The City is developing guidelines and regulations for the case-by-case consideration of cannabis retail outlets. This framework is expected to be reviewed by Council in September.
Q: Will retail cannabis sales be restricted in certain areas in the City?
A: Most likely. If Council allows retail cannabis sales in the City, staff will be developing guidelines for business owners to follow when choosing a location. For example, the guidelines could specify minimum distance from schools and parks, as well as cap the number of stores in the City.
Q: How long could an application take to be approved?
A: If Council allows retail cannabis sales in the City, each application would be reviewed on its own through a rezoning process. This would require a Public Hearing where members of the community can share any concerns they may have directly with Council. This process could take three to five months. If Council were to approve the rezoning of a specific property, the City would then provide comments to the provincial government. The Province will be responsible for retail cannabis licencing through the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.
Q: Where can I find more information on federal and provincial legislation?
A: Examples of resources include: