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UBCM: Cannabis Retail Information for Local GovernmentsUnion of BC Municipalities
VICTORIA - On October 17, 2018, non-medical cannabis will be legal in Canada. In anticipation of federal legalization, the Province has passed legislation to provide for legal, controlled access to non-medical cannabis in British Columbia. Information is also available regarding local governments’ role in licensing non-medical cannabis retail stores.
Under provincial legislation, local governments have the ability to make decisions based on the needs of their communities, whether that be setting a minimum distance between cannabis stores, limiting the number of licences that may be issued in their jurisdiction, or prohibiting cannabis retail stores altogether.
B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be the wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis and will operate public retail stores and online sales. The LDB will work with local governments to ensure their support for any proposed public retail store sites. Local representatives can reach the LDB at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss potential public retail in their communities.
The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) will be responsible for licensing private stores and monitoring the retail sector. When an application is received, the LCRB will notify the local government of the area where the proposed store will be located. The LCRB must receive a positive recommendation from the local government in order for an applicant to be approved for a retail license. More details on the local government role in private cannabis retail licensing can be found in the LCRB’s guide for local governments. For any further questions, the LCRB can be reached at email@example.com.
While the provincial legislation provides a sound foundation for the regulation and safe implementation of legalized cannabis, the Province has committed to assessing and refining cannabis policy and regulation over the months and years ahead. The Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation will continue as the provincial regulatory framework is implemented and monitored. UBCM members are encouraged to bring forward any interests or concerns to contribute to these discussions.