Cannabis Retail Sales

Cannabis Retail Sales Policy - Update

On Monday, March 23, a public hearing was held for the amending bylaws associated with the Cannabis Retail Sales Policy. Upon receiving no correspondence and no submissions the matter has been referred for an additional Public Hearing. Out of concern for the health and safety of residents and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak the date for this public hearing is indefinite. Applications for cannabis retail stores will not be accepted until the amending bylaws have been adopted. The application submission date will be posted following an additional public hearing, and once the amending bylaws have been scheduled for final adoption.

For information on the Policy and the Engagement Summary for the Cannabis Retail Sales Public Consultation please see the following:

For further information please contact Community and Policy Planning at cannabis@tol.ca

Background

On October 17, 2018, the federal Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations came into effect, legalizing recreational cannabis. Cannabis edibles, extracts, and topical products were legalized by the federal government in late 2019. Currently, cannabis retail sales are not permitted in the Township of Langley until amending bylaws have been adopted. Federal, provincial, and municipal governments have differing roles in regulating cannabis. The figure below illustrates a simple breakdown of some of the responsibilities related to retail sales.

Regulating Cannabis

*Adapted from Federation of Canadian Municipalities “Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization”

Cannabis is available legally through government-run stores and the online store operated by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch as well as licensed private retailers. In the Township of Langley, no government-run stores or licensed private retailers currently exist.

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch is responsible for issuing licenses for cannabis retail stores. Before a license is issued, the local government, where the proposed store is located, is required to provide a positive recommendation. The Township of Langley is conducting public consultation on cannabis retail sales in order to understand the desires and opinions of community members and stakeholders.

For more information on non-medical cannabis, please see:

Public Consultation

The Township of Langley undertook public engagement to gather the views and preferences of residents and stakeholders regarding cannabis retail sales. The results of public consultation informed development of the Cannabis Retail Sales Policy.

Policy development took place over three phases:

Phase 1 – Background Research: Best practice research was conducted to identify options for regulating cannabis retail sales in local municipalities.

Phase 2 – Public Engagement: Public engagement gathered the views and preferences of residents and stakeholders. Stakeholders were informed and educated about the options for cannabis retail and their views were gathered through a survey and at public open houses. The results were published in an engagement summary at the end of Phase 3.

Public engagement had the following goals:

  • Provide information on the current regulatory scheme and options for cannabis retail
  • Gather the views of the stakeholders on how cannabis retail sales should be regulated and if cannabis retail sales should be permitted
  • Communicate to Council the views of the stakeholders gathered through the public engagement program

Public Open Houses were held at multiple locations across the Township in October, 2019. A survey was also conducted throughout the month of October to collect public opinion on policy options for cannabis retail sales, including whether cannabis retail sales should be permitted in the Township of Langley.

Phase 3 – Development of Regulatory Framework: Based on the research conducted in Phase 1 and results of public engagement in Phase 2, a regulatory framework for cannabis retail sales was developed and presented to Council on March 9, 2020. The framework addresses issues such as the prohibition or allowance of cannabis retail stores and a proposed retail model.
 

FAQs

No, the Township of Langley Zoning Bylaw does not permit retail sales of cannabis. Non-medical cannabis may be obtained legally only through the BC Government online store. Medical cannabis dispensaries are illegal and are subject to law enforcement action.
No, minors are not permitted in cannabis retail stores, even if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
No, consumption of cannabis is not permitted in any cannabis retail store and stores cannot provide samples.
No, medical and non-medical cannabis are the same, however the regulations surrounding them are different.
Yes, the Township may collect a business licence fee. There is no arrangement to share revenue collected by senior levels of government.

Contact

Community and Policy Planning
cannabis@tol.ca