Cannabis Regulation

Recreational use of cannabis is will be legalized in Canada in October 2018. Many of the decisions surrounding cannabis legalization will be made by the provincial and federal governments. Meanwhile, Bowen Island Municipality is responsible for setting out land use regulations for the production and sale of cannabis, before legalization.

Council is considering changes to the Land Use Bylaw that would prohibit the cultivation, production, packaging, storage, distribution, trading, or selling of cannabis in all zones on Bowen Island. The exception would be where these uses are permitted as a farm use, where permitted for medical purposes, or where specifically permitted through a Temporary Use Permit or a rezoning application.

The intention of this bylaw is not to prohibit the recreational consumption of cannabis, but to regulate where cannabis is produced and sold on Bowen Island.

The bylaw has received second reading and is proceeding to a public hearing.

If adopted, Land Use Amendment Bylaw 455, 2018 would require rezoning applications for recreational cannabis retail to be considered by Council and the community on a case-by-case basis. The Municipality could then spot-zone to allow cannabis sales after community input has been received.

A Public Hearing was held on Monday, July 9th, where Council received submissions from the public on the proposed bylaw.

Please see "Frequently Asked Questions" below for more information specific to this bylaw and the Municipality's jurisdiction for cannabis regulation.

The proposed bylaw and background information may be viewed on this webpage below, or at Municipal Hall, 981 Artisan Lane, during office hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays).

More on Cannabis Legislation

The federal government is involved with most questions around cannabis legalization, such as possession limits, taxation, regulatory compliance, and education. It is also establishing minimum regulatory standards that each province may uphold or further restrict.

More information about federal jurisdiction

In preparation for the federal government's legalization of non-medical cannabis, the BC provincial government has made a number of decisions about what the provincial regulatory framework will look like.

More information about provincial jurisdiction

Background Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this bylaw needed now?

The federal government will legalize the recreational use of cannabis on October 17, 2018. This was not contemplated when Bowen Island’s Land Use Bylaw was adopted in 2002, so Council is considering an amendment bylaw that would place a blanket prohibition on the production, distribution, and retail sale of cannabis on Bowen Island.

If the federal government says cannabis is legal, how can the municipality prohibit it?

The intention of Bylaw 455 is not to prohibit the recreational consumption of cannabis, but to regulate where cannabis is produced and sold and Bowen Island.

Each level of government (federal, provincial and municipal) has different jurisdiction over the regulation of cannabis. See the table below for examples.

 

Federal

Provincial

Municipal

  • Cannabis production
  • Cannabis possession limits
  • Trafficking
  • Advertising
  • Minimum age limits
  • Oversight of medical cannabis regime, including personal cultivation registration
  • Wholesale and retail distribution of cannabis
  • Selection of retail distribution model
  • Workplace safety
  • Discretion to set more restrictive limits for:
    • minimum age for consumption
    • possession amount
  • Zoning (density, location)
  • Retail locations
  • Home cultivation
  • Business Licensing
  • Building Codes
  • Nuisance and odours
  • Smoking restrictions
  • Regulations around public consumption

 

Can the Municipality regulate cannabis consumption?

The Municipality has the authority to set regulations around public consumption, similar to public consumption of tobacco, but this bylaw only deals with land use regulations.

Why not just allow cannabis sales in zones where other businesses operate?

The location, scale and density of cannabis cultivation and retail stores will impact the Bowen Island community. Commercial cultivation presents challenges ranging from odours and chemicals to use of municipal water. Retail stores influence the social and economic character of the community, and residents may have concerns about proximity to parks and schools.

If adopted, Bylaw 455 would require rezoning applications for recreational cannabis retail to be considered by Council and the community on a case-by-case basis. The Municipality could then spot-zone to allow cannabis sales after community input has been received.

Will I be able to grow and/or sell cannabis on my farm?

You will be able to grow cannabis on your farm, as long as the property is located within the Agricultural Land Reserve and you comply with regulations under the Agricultural Land Commission Act.

Please ensure you are in compliance with these regulations before growing cannabis on your farm. Visit the Agricultural Land Commission website at www.alc.gov.bc.ca for more information.

Will I need a licence to grow or sell cannabis?

Yes, the provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) will be responsible for licensing non-medical cannabis private stores and monitoring the non-medical cannabis retail sector. Visit LCRB’s non-medical cannabis retail licence page for information about becoming a non-medical medical cannabis retailer in BC, as well as information updates.

Will I be able to smoke cannabis in public?

You must comply with restrictions set by the provincial and federal governments, which include but are not limited to:

  • You must be 19 years of age or older
  • Smoking and vaping of cannabis is prohibited everywhere tobacco smoking and vaping is prohibited, as well as at playgrounds, sports fields and other places where children commonly gather, or an indoor public place
  • Consumption of cannabis is prohibited on school properties and in vehicles

There will be other restrictions set by the federal Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Please make sure you are aware of all restrictions before consuming cannabis in public and/or driving a vehicle.

The federal government will allow people to grow up to four plants for home consumption. Does the Municipality have the authority to regulate that?

While the Municipality does have the authority to regulate personal production of cannabis, the intent of this bylaw is to deal with land use related to commercial production, distribution and retail sale of cannabis.

Notice of Public Hearing

Notice of public hearing on July 9th, 2018. 6:45 pm at Municipal Hall.

Proposed Bylaw

Bowen Island Municipality Land Use Amendment Bylaw No. 455, 2018

The base bylaw being amended is available for inspection at the Bowen Island Municipal Hall.

Council Resolutions

February 13, 2018, RES#18-67 

It was Moved and Seconded

That Council direct staff to identify and assess the options available to the municipality for responding to the potential community impacts of the legalization of non-medical cannabis.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY


February 26, 2018, RES#18-82

It was Moved and Seconded

That Council direct staff to prepare an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw to include, "No person shall use any land, building, or structure for the sale, production or distribution of cannabis."

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY


March 26, 2018, RES#18-137

It was Moved and Seconded

That Bylaw No. 455, 2018 cited as “Bowen Island Municipality Land Use Bylaw No. 57, 2002, Amendment Bylaw No. 455, 2018 be read a first time;

That Council refer Bylaw No. 455, 2018 to the Advisory Planning Commission and the Islands Trust; and

That Council direct staff to report back with the results of the referral of the appplication.

CARRIED UNAMINOUSLY


May 28, 2018, RES#18-234

It was Moved and Seconded

That Bylaw 455, 2018, section 3.12 a. be amended to "as a farm use permitted by the Agricultural Land Commission Act Regulations and Policies within the Agricultural Land Reserve."

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

RES#18-235

It was Moved and Seconded

That Bylaw No. 455, 2018 cited as “Bowen Island Municipality Land Use Bylaw No. 57, 2002, Amendment Bylaw No. 455, 2018 be read a second time as amended; and

That Council refer Bylaw No. 455, 2018 to a Public Hearing.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

RES#18-236

It was Moved and Seconded

That Council direct the Communications Team to prepare a communication plan to articulate the intent of the Cannabis Bylaw.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

Committee Resolutions

April 16, 2018 – Advisory Planning Commission

It was Moved and Seconded
That the Advisory Planning Commission support Bylaw No. 455, 2018 regarding the regulation of cannabis, as presented at its Monday, April 16, 2018 meeting with the following comment:

That Council not apply unduly restrictive conditions to future commercial applications, including but not limited to, location and process.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

Staff Reports & Presentations

Public Comments

Submissions from the Public Hearing

Mr. Glenn Cormier

Mr. Cormier expressed support, in principle, for enacting a bylaw to assist in regulating Cannabis and concerns with how this process may interact with the Provincial licensing application.

Mr. Davis Allen

Mr. Allen expressed his intent to apply for a micro-producer Cannabis license to produce medicinal Cannabis products on property located across from the main Firehall on Grafton Road.

Mrs. Mary-Ann Smith

Mrs. Smith expressed concern regarding young people having increased access to Cannabis.

Mrs. Pat Brawner

Mrs. Brawner expressed concern allowing Cannabis to be grown on Bowen Island leading to increased availability for misuse and deterioration of the quality of island life.

Written submissions received up to July 9, 2018

To ensure a fair process, Council cannot consider submissions received after the Public Hearing held on July 9, 2018 ended.

James Glave re: Cannabis regulation and Land Use Amendment Bylaw No. 455, 2018, dated June 30, 2018

Ken Simpson re Comment on Land Use Amendment Bylaw 455, dated July 4, 2018

Tom Carchrae re Comment on Land Use Amendment Bylaw 455, dated July 4, 2018

Dee Elliott re Cannabis regulation, dated July 4, 2018

Davis Allen re Medical Cannabis production on Bowen Island, dated July 6, 2018

Glenn Cormier re Cannabis Public Hearing July 9, 2018, dated July 8, 2018

John Dowler re Cannabis bylaw, dated July 9, 2018

Islands Trust

Last Updated on 2018-07-25 at 10:33 AM