Cannabis Legalization

North Cowichan is moving forward with policy changes to allow for the establishment of a local cannabis retail sector and continued growth of the local cannabis production industry following federal and provincial legislative changes enacting legalized cannabis.


On October 17, 2018 the federal government legalized non-medical Cannabis, regulated by the Cannabis Act which addresses the regulation, sale, production, distribution, possession and consumption of cannabis.  

Government Responsibilities

The federal legislation created a number of responsibilities for all levels of government including the following:

Federal: The federal government will be responsible for regulating the production of cannabis, as well as setting the rules and parameters around possession limits, trafficking, advertising, the tracking of seed to sale, establishing minimum age limits, personal cultivation and continued oversight of the medical cannabis regime.

Provincial: Provinces and Territories govern many aspects of the legalization framework, including wholesale and retail distribution, the selection of a retail distribution model and workplace safety.  Provinces also have the discretion to set higher age limits or more restrictive possession limits.  The Province of BC has adopted the Cannabis Distribution Act and the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

Municipal: Local governments retain the power to regulate land use, business licensing and public consumption.