Recreational Cannabis use will be legalized by the federal government on October 17, 2018. 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.
On September 25, 2018, Council endorsed a public consultation plan which will seek the community’s input into the City’s development of cannabis regulations. The purpose of the public consultation is to ask residents if retail cannabis stores should be permitted in Port Moody, and if so, which (if any) restrictions and guidelines should apply in the City. The public consultation will include an online survey and an open house in the Galleria on November 28, 2018 from 4-7 p.m. (details to follow).
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;
- within 7.5 metres of any public or workplace entryway, opening window or air intake
It is expected that Council will consider additional proposed guidelines and regulations following public consultation in early 2019.
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 stores. This framework will be reviewed by Council after public consultation.
Q: Will retail cannabis sales be restricted in certain areas in the City?
A: Most likely. If Council allows retail cannabis stores in the City, staff will be developing guidelines for business owners to follow when choosing a location. For example, the guidelines could specify minimum distances from schools and parks, as well as cap the number of stores permitted in the City.
Q: How long could an application take to be approved?
A: If Council allows retail cannabis stores 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 and Cannabis Regulation Branch.
Q: Where can I find more information on federal and provincial legislation?
A: Examples of resources include: