North Cowichan Working to Modernize Cannabis Regulations

(North Cowichan, BC) – North Cowichan is moving forward with a policy to allow for establishment of a local cannabis retail sector and continued growth of the local cannabis production industry following the legalization of cannabis in October 2018.

At its January 16 meeting, Council adopted a Retail Cannabis Sales Policy to establish criteria that North Cowichan will use when considering cannabis sales applications, and directed staff to begin processing rezoning applications for cannabis retail sales immediately.

“Council is hearing from many residents that want local options for purchasing cannabis,” says Mayor Al Siebring. “Under the Provincial framework, the Municipality’s role is to consider land-use applications for retail cannabis, and this Council policy establishes criteria we will use in doing so, such as ideal siting of stores and setbacks from other uses.”

Noting that new federal licensing options no longer differentiate medical and non-medical cannabis production, Council also gave first and second reading to a Zoning Amendment Bylaw to:

  • Replace the current permitted use “medical marijuana production facility” with a newly-defined “cannabis production facility”, which will be permitted in the Municipality’s industrial zones, and
  • Establish an “ALR cannabis production facility” use that will apply to production facilities located on ALR lands, and replace the medical marijuana production facility use in the regulations for production facilities on ALR lands.

Council also initiated the process to update the definitions in the Zoning Bylaw to reflect updated Federal and Provincial cannabis production licensing regulations and asked staff to report back on options for Micro Cannabis Production Facilities and cannabis production facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve. Those reports will be presented at a future Council meeting.

Background:

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For more information, please contact:
Chris Hutton, Community Planning Coordinator
Municipality of North Cowichan
T 250-746-3155
chris.hutton@northcowichan.ca