What is the CVRD doing to regulate cannabis?
In anticipation of the legalization of non-medical cannabis, the CVRD board adopted an amendment to the zoning bylaw on July 24, 2018. The amendment prohibits the production and retail sale of cannabis, while maintaining the existing enabling framework for medical cannabis which requires a rezoning in areas subject to policies in the Official Community Plan.
What does this mean to you?
As of October 17, 2018 it is now legal to possess, purchase and consume non-medical cannabis in Canada. The Province of BC has established legislative framework for the legalization of non-medical cannabis, through the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA).
The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act provides regulation for legal, controlled access to non-medical cannabis in British Columbia. The legislation and the consequential legislative amendments ensure that a regulatory framework is in place that will allow the province and local governments to regulate the sale and production of recreational cannabis.
The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act also includes consequential amendments to various statutes, including:
- Liquor Control and Licensing Act to ensure administrative consistency between that Act and the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act;
- Retail sales will be sold through a combination of public and private retail models handled through the BC Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch
- Residential Tenancy Act and Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act to prohibit cannabis smoking under existing leases that prohibit smoking tobacco and to prohibit the personal cultivation of cannabis under existing leases, except for federally authorized medical cannabis. For new leases, the existing provisions of each Act that allow landlords and tenants to negotiate the terms of leases will apply;
- Police Act to set provincial priorities for policing and require municipal police boards to take provincial priorities and the priorities of the municipal council into account as they develop their own priorities;
- Community Safety Act to reflect that with legalization cannabis will no longer be a controlled substance under the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act;
- Provincial Sales Tax Act to add a reference to cannabis in the definition of “small seller” consistent with liquor; and
- Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act to recognize that the CCLA is a complete licensing scheme.
The following regulatory decisions are included in the legislation and amendments:
- Sets 19 as the provincial minimum age to purchase sell or consume cannabis;
- Allows adults to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in a public place;
- Prohibits cannabis smoking and vaping everywhere tobacco smoking and vaping are prohibited, as well as at playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks, and other places where children commonly gather;
- Prohibits the use of cannabis on school properties and in vehicles;
- Authorizes adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, but the plants must not be visible from public spaces off the property, and home cultivation will be banned in homes used as day-cares;
- Establishes a cannabis retail licensing regime similar to the current licensing regime for liquor;
- Provides enforcement authority to deal with illegal sales;
- Creates a number of provincial cannabis offences which may result in a fine ranging from $2,000 to $100,000, imprisonment of three to 12 months, or both; and
- Where necessary, to comply with Charter Rights and Human Rights Law, exemptions will be provided to individuals who are federally authorized to purchase, possess and consume medical cannabis.