Cannabis Business

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Cannabis Business in Ucluelet

In Ucluelet, the production of cannabis is restricted under Zoning Bylaw 1160, 2013. The bylaw has recently been amended to define cannabis sales and cannabis production, and to clarify that these uses are not currently permitted in any zone within the municipality.

Council has adopted the recommendations in Report 18-35 that the following can be expected in future consideration of rezoning applications for cannabis sales:

a. any cannabis sales rezoning applications will be brought to Council no earlier than 90 days following the adoption of federal Bill C-45 and provincial legislation for the legal distribution and regulation of cannabis sales in BC, whichever is later;
b. Council will consider the merits of any rezoning applications for cannabis sales in the context of federal and provincial regulations, community input at a joint public hearing, and the following preliminary criteria:
     i.     on commercial property located at least 300m from school grounds, public playgrounds, licensed daycare facilities, the Ucluelet Community Centre, Ucluelet Aquarium and Municipal Hall, and at least 150m from Tugwell Sports Fields;
     ii.    low-key storefront design and signage befitting the form and character of the Ucluelet streetscape and surrounding commercial properties;
     iii.   all other aspects normally considered with a commercial rezoning application (access, location and amount of parking, landscaping, etc.);
     iv.   any components of the proposal which may help to mitigate impacts of the new use or provide a degree of public amenity to present a net public benefit to the community; and,
c. after hearing public input, Council may deny all applications or approve one or more applications up to a maximum of two cannabis sales retail locations in Ucluelet at this point in time.

The full report to Council and the background to the recommendations can be viewed here.

Prospective Cannabis Retail Businesses

The provincial Cannabis Distribution Act establishes the regulatory framework for retail of non-medical cannabis.

The Province has published online information for those considering applying for a provincial licence to sell non-medical cannabis.

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), previously known as the Liquor Control and licencing Branch, has responsibility for the licensing and monitoring of non-medical cannabis retail stores.

The LCRB has launched an online portal for those interested in applying for a retail licence. The portal will eventually accept online applications.

The Province will permit local governments to decide whether they wish to have a non-medical cannabis retail store in their community. Applicants for a cannabis retail licence must have a positive recommendation from the District of Ucluelet in order for a licence to be issued.

Once the LCRB has received an application for a retail store in Ucluelet, they will notify the District. If the District decides to consider the notice of application, and to provide comments, it must gather the views of residents living in the area affected by the retail store.

Local Governments’ Role in Licencing Non-Medical Cannabis Retail Stores

Licenced non-medical cannabis retailers will only be able to sell dried cannabis, cannabis oils, seeds and cannabis accessories that comply with federal rules.

Edible cannabis products are not permitted and cannot legally be sold. The federal government is still working on regulating edible products and concentrates, with more details expected in late 2019.

Commercial Cannabis Production

The Cannabis Distribution Act establishes a public wholesale monopoly for the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) to create a province-wide, wholesale distribution system for non-medical cannabis. The LDB will be the only entity that retail stores, both private and government-owned, can purchase non-medical cannabis from in BC.

The LDB will only purchase non-medical cannabis from federally licenced producers. A licensed producer holds a licence issued by Health Canada, under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), to produce quality-controlled cannabis under secure and clean conditions.

Applications to Health Canada to become a licenced producer undergo a rigorous review. More information on the application procedure can be found on the Health Canada: Becoming a licensed producer of cannabis for medical purposes webpage.