Cannabis Regulation in Mission

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This Public Information Package and the more detailed discussion paper provide information to interested individuals and organizations on Mission’s current position regarding cannabis regulation. They are provided for convenience only and should not be relied upon to make property acquisition or business decisions.

Download the full discussion paper

Upcoming Changes

The Federal government has introduced the Cannabis Act to regulate and restrict the production, distribution, sale and use of cannabis. It is expected to pass into law in July 2018.The federal law creates responsibilities for all levels of government. Additionally, British Columbia has begun drafting provincial regulations that will have an impact on local governments, and have provided guidance on the retail model to be used in BC.

Current Regulation in Mission

Selling cannabis from a retail location is currently illegal in Canada and prohibited under Mission’s Zoning Bylaw.

Mission’s Zoning Bylaw prohibits the sale of cannabis, medical cannabis, cannabis products, and includes the sale of drug paraphernalia and smoking aids within all zones.

Enforcement action will be taken on any persons or company attempting to open a retail cannabis business or operation prior to it being fully legalized and permitted under Federal and Provincial law and Municipal Bylaw.

Additionally, we recognize that currently Licenced Commercial Producers authorized under Federal law are prohibited, and anticipate a change in the Zoning Bylaw to permit Licenced Commercial Producers within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

Proposed Regulatory Framework

The framework proposed here and in the full Discussion Paper is not final and depends on several assumptions and speculations relating to Federal and Provincial law. It is provided simply to assist those interested in the issue in understanding the municipality’s current positions.

Overall Approach

Mission will take a precautionary approach to cannabis regulation. The municipality will use its authority sparingly to determine the impact of the new Cannabis regulations in Canada prior to relaxing any municipal regulations. Additionally, we anticipate the business licence fees for retail outlets and Licensed Commercial Producers will be set at the maximum amount under the Business Licensing Bylaw.

Personal and Designated Grower Licences

For operations in Residential Zones Mission will enforce the Good Neighbour Bylaw on a complaint basis to ensure Personal and Designated Grower Licences under the MMAR and ACMPR are not negatively impacting the community.

When poorly run, these grows cause serious damage to buildings, nuisance, and dangers for the community. Mission will develop a bylaw to reduce the harms related to cannabis production and to support the identification and remediation of issues.

Production in Commercial and Industrial Zones

Cannabis production is an agricultural land use. It is not permitted in Commercial or Industrial Zones and Mission will actively enforce the Zoning Bylaw and seek to have licenced grow operations removed from these zones.

Licenced Commercial Producers

We expect Licenced Commercial Producers will be permitted under Provincial regulation to operation on Agricultural Lands. Mission will not require rezoning of lands within the ALR where a Licenced Commercial Producer wants to locate, but will require they follow the Minister’s Bylaw Standard and conform to Mission’s Building Bylaw and Business Licencing Bylaw. Commercial Producers will be taxed at the existing business rates and no farm exemption will apply.

Growing up to Four Cannabis Plants at Home

Mission is not interested in regulating the home cultivation that is being considered under the Act as not requiring a licence. Mission will actively enforce the good neighbour bylaw and will consider adopting a bylaw similar to the City of Surrey’s Controlled Substance Property Bylaw to ensure public safety and support the identification and remediation of issues that could harm residential buildings.

Retail Sales

Retail sales from privately operated stores will not be permitted at this time. Once legal, Mission will consider only government operated retail outlets, and will likely create zoning to restrict the activity to established shopping malls specifically listed in the Zoning Bylaw.

Wholesale, Distribution, and Quality Assurance

Mission would consider permitting a wholesale or quality assurance operation provided it was located on land within the ALR.

Use of Solvents in Producing Derivatives

Using organic solvents to alter the chemical or physical properties of Cannabis is prohibited except where authorized by the Act.

Mission’s zoning bylaw prohibits the sale, storage, or distribution of butane in quantities greater than 453 grams (16 ounces) in all zones, and we anticipate updating the Zoning Bylaw to prohibit the making of Cannabis concentrates in all zones unless where authorized by the Federal Government.

Regulating Smoking and Vaping

Mission’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw defines smoking as smoking of tobacco and any other weed or substance, and bans smoking on all municipal property. Provincial regulations prohibit vaping within workplaces and within six (6) meters of ventilation intakes or doors to workplaces or public buildings.

We anticipate updating Mission’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw to treat vaping and smoking of cannabis in the same way as smoking tobacco and ensure restrictions are consistent.

Next Steps & Contact Information

Once Provincial regulations are made public and municipal authority is clear Mission will bring forward bylaw amendments for consideration. The process will include the opportunity for public comment, and we welcome any and all feedback on the full discussion paper by email at info@mission.ca or in writing to:

District of Mission
Corporate Administration
Proposed Framework for Cannabis Regulation
8645 Stave Lake Street, Mission, BC, V2V 4L9