Non-Medical Cannabis

The retail sale of Cannabis is prohibited unless the required approvals are in place with both the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch and with the City of New Westminster.

The Federal Cannabis Act is set to become law on October 17, 2018, which would establish a legal framework for controlling the lawful production, distribution, sale and possession of non-medical cannabis across Canada.

Each Province and Territory would have the authority to regulate certain aspects such as distribution, retail and a range of other matters. Municipalities would have authority to further regulate certain aspects such as retail (through land use and business licensing regulations) and public use (through smoking regulations).

The City of New Westminster implemented a cannabis regulatory framework in September 2018 in anticipation of the enactment of the Federal Cannabis Act. This page provides information on the cannabis regulatory framework in New Westminster.

Page last updated: 10/01/2018.

  • Retail cannabis locations would be permitted in New Westminster, but are required to complete a site-specific rezoning process, similar to the process for applications for liquor stores and pubs. 

    All applications which go through a rezoning process would include opportunities for public consultation.

    Council has adopted the Cannabis Retail Rezoning Policy which would guide the City’s consideration of these rezoning applications. This policy provides guidelines for where applications could be considered: they should be located in commercial areas, located 150 metres from places where youth gather (such as schools and playgrounds) and located 150 metres from other cannabis retail locations. More information can be found on the Cannabis Retail Use Separation Distance Guidelines Map.

    The policy also includes other considerations including business and neighbourhood security, business aesthetics and addressing nuisance activity.

  • Those interested in operating a retail cannabis location within the City of New Westminster would be required to receive the necessary approvals. It is anticipated that applications for cannabis retail locations will begin being accepted by the City starting in late October or November. To receive information on when this process would begin, you can add your contact information to the mailing list at the bottom of this section.

    Any applicant for a retail cannabis location would be required to submit and complete the following applications:

    • A Non-Medical Cannabis Retail License Application with the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch;
    • A business license application with the City of New Westminster; and
    • An application to rezone the property to allow a retail cannabis use with the City of New Westminster.

     

    More information on these applications is included below. Subsequent applications and permits, such as building permits, may also be required prior to operation.

    LIQUOR AND CANNABIS REGULATION BRANCH NON-MEDICAL CANNABIS RETAIL LICENSE APPLICATION

    Prior to submitting applications to the City, an application is required to be submitted to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch for a Non-Medical Cannabis Retail License. You can find out more about this application process on the LCRB website

    Business License Application (Not Yet Being Accepted)

    An application for a business license with the City of New Westminster would be required and it is anticipated that the initial intake of applications would begin being accepted in late October or November. More information on the initial intake of applications is provided in this section below.  Applications for a business license for a cannabis retail location would be non-refundable and would cost $5,400 (updated periodically in the Development Services Fees and Rates Bylaw).

    The business license regulations can be reviewed in either the Business License Amendment Bylaw or in the August 27, 2018, Council Report - Recreational Cannabis: Consideration of Bylaws for Implementation of Cannabis Regulatory Framework links to which are included in the resources section at the bottom of this page.

    Rezoning Applications (Not Yet Being Accepted)

    An application for an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw (rezoning application) with the City of New Westminster would be required and it is anticipated that the initial intake of applications would begin being accepted in late October or November. More information on the initial intake of applications is provided in this section below.  Applications for rezoning for a cannabis retail location would be non-refundable and would cost $1,811.80 (updated periodically in the Development Services Fees and Rates Bylaw).

    Council has adopted the Cannabis Retail Rezoning Policy which would guide the City’s consideration of these rezoning applications. This document provides valuable information to those considering applying for a cannabis retail location in New Westminster, including submission requirements, anticipated process, and guidelines, which should be reviewed carefully.

    Initial Intake of Applications

    It is anticipated that there could be a high number of initial applications and a process for considering the initial intake of these applications has been endorsed by Council. This process could initially allow up to five locations to operate within New Westminster.

    In late October or November, a window of approximately one month in length will be opened by the City to allow the submission of business license and rezoning applications for cannabis retail stores. At the close of this window the City would evaluate the applications received and consider up to five cannabis retail locations located within commercial areas across the city, distributed as follows:

    • one cannabis retail business in each of the core commercial areas: Downtown, Uptown and Sapperton;
    • two locations distributed within the remaining commercial areas: Twelfth Street, Twentieth Street, Queensborough, and McBride Boulevard at Eighth Ave; and
    • consider a balance of publicly and privately operated cannabis retail stores or, where a balance of public and private is not possible, consider at least one publicly operated cannabis retail store;

     

    The applications received would be evaluated and scored based on the Cannabis Application Evaluation Criteria.  The criteria on this checklist are divided into three categories:

    1. Location and Land Use
    2. Business Operations, Nuisance and Security
    3. Aesthetics

     

    Each criterion on the evaluation checklist includes a score and weight.  Following this evaluation, staff would prepare a report to Council outlining the recommended applications and which applications should not proceed (e.g., incomplete, do not receive an endorsement from the New Westminster Police Department, etc.). The remaining applications would remain active should the recommended applications not be able to proceed or withdraw from the process. In the event of a tie, staff would provide further analysis and recommendation on the tied applications for Council consideration, where needed, to establish application priority.

    These locations would be monitored for a period of one year following their opening.  During this period, no additional applications for cannabis retail uses would be recommended. Following this period, staff would report back to Council with any recommended updates to the regulations and policy, and the next step regarding new applications.

    Summary of Application Evaluation Process

    1. Provide an application period of approximately one month for all interested retailers to submit their complete application. This period would start late October / November;
    2. Advertise the initial application intake process;
    3. Upon the close of the one-month application period, reject any applications which are incomplete;
    4. Applications reviewed by New Westminster Police;
    5. Application divided into the four geographic areas (Downtown, Uptown, Sapperton and all other locations);
    6. Evaluate applications within the geographic areas and assigned priority based on the following:
    1. Present the process and results to Council and provide further fine-grained analysis for any applications which are tied;
    2. Process the five prioritized applications as a single batch where possible and efficient;

     

    Summary of Review Process for Initial Intake of Applications

    Staff estimate the following application review timeline for the five prioritized applications:

    Initial Application Intake Submission Period:

    1. Advertising and notification period (October/November 2018);
    2. Applicants submit applications to LCRB (October/November 2018);
    3. Submit rezoning and business licence applications to the City within the application period (October/November 2018);
    4. Close of Initial Application Intake Submission Period (November/December 2018);
    5. City staff review and evaluate applications based on evaluation criteria; (December 2018/January 2019);
    6. Report to Council to confirm the process and results and to resolve any ties based on more fine-grained analysis (January 2019);
    7. Proceed with the prioritized applicants; (January/February 2019);

     

    Council Consideration:

    1. Council consideration of First and Second Readings of Zoning Amendment Bylaw (February/March 2019);
    2. Public Hearing for Zoning Amendment Bylaw, meeting LCRB consultation requirements (February/March 2019);
    3. Council consideration of Third Reading and adoption of Zoning Amendment Bylaw (February/March 2019);
    4. Council consideration of a resolution for LCRB (March 2019);
    5. LCRB considers approval in principle (March 2019);

     

    Subsequent Approvals:

    1. Application for City Building Permit (if required);
    2. Issuance of City Business License; and
    3. LCRB finalizes the application.
       

    Mailing List

    Are you interested in receiving updates about the proposed municipal regulatory framework for cannabis? If you sign up, you will receive emails regarding events, public consultation opportunities and Council reports.

    Click here to sign up for the mailing list.

  • Personal cultivation (growing cannabis for personal use) is permitted within dwelling units within New Westminster, provided:

    • Compliance with all Federal and Provincial regulations including (but not limited to):
      • Not more than four plants;
      • Plants must not be visible from public spaces off of the property;
      • Not permitted in homes used as day-cares; and,
      • All required permits are obtained.
    • Does not include processing, manufacturing or retail sale of cannabis; and
    • For multiple unit buildings, is located within a dwelling unit and not in common areas of the property.

     

    Stratas and landlords have the ability to prohibit the cultivation of cannabis. For further information, refer to the Strata Property Act, the British Columbia Cannabis Webpage, or consult your landlord or strata representative.

  • Smoking and vaping of cannabis, tobacco and other products are controlled by Smoking Control Bylaw No. 6263, 1995. This bylaw prohibits smoking and vaping in the following locations:

    1. On outdoor patios of businesses serving refreshments of food to the public;
    2. Within 7.5 metres of any opening into a building including any door, window that opens or any air intake; and
    3. Within 15 metres of an outdoor sports field, skate park, playground, lacrosse box, lawn bowling green, stadium, picnic area, water park, wading pool, swimming pool or off-leash dog area within a City park.

     

    Stratas and landlords have the ability to prohibit the consumption of cannabis. For further information, refer to the Strata Property Act, the British Columbia Cannabis Webpage, or consult your landlord or strata representative.  

  • Cannabis production facilities are industrial facilities where cannabis is produced by a Federally licensed producer. Cannabis production facilities can be for the production of medical or recreational cannabis. Cannabis production facilities are permitted in Heavy Industrial Districts (M-2) provided they meet the following conditions:

    1. all operations related to the production, storage and processing of cannabis occur within a completely enclosed building; and
    2. the site on which the cannabis production facility is located is at least 60.9 metres (200 feet) from any site used for a school or for any residential use.   
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