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Cannabis Retail Sales

The BC Provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (formerly the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch) is responsible for licensing private non-medical cannabis retail stores. Any Kamloops private cannabis retail application must be reviewed first by this provincial authority, before being referred by the Province to the City of Kamloops.

Application Guide Application Form

Division of Responsibilities

Retail Sales in Kamloops

Cannabis Retail Sales

How will cannabis retail stores obtain their product?

In BC, all non-medical cannabis products will be distributed through the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. As with alcohol sales, retail businesses will not be permitted to grow their own product or source it from a third party.

Kamloops will be the first location in BC to have a provincially operated retail outlet.

The federal government has made the decision to legalize cannabis. What else is being decided by the federal government?

The federal government is involved with most questions around cannabis legalization such as production, taxation, possession limits, impaired driving, regulatory compliance, and education. It is also establishing minimum regulatory standards that each province may adopt or further restrict.

What about public safety and health concerns?

Most cannabis-related concerns around public health and safety fall under federal and provincial jurisdiction. Both of these levels of government have expressed a clear commitment to harnessing legalization to address existing public health and safety issues with cannabis. This includes legislative restrictions intended to keep cannabis out of the hands of minors and to combat impaired driving. Cannabis is being treated similar to tobacco and alcohol in that branding and advertising will be strictly controlled, and impaired driving prohibitions will be imposed both federally and provincially.

What are the fees for a Business Licence related to retail cannabis sales in Kamloops?

Fees include a $1,600 application fee for a Retail Cannabis Sales Licence Permit and Existing Licence Amendment and a $5,000 annual Business Licence Fee.

What decisions has the BC provincial government made about cannabis legalization?

In addition to their authority to establish age, possession, and personal cultivation regulations that are more stringent than those contained in the federal legislation, provinces and territories are responsible for many matters of implementation such as how and by whom cannabis may be sold and where it may be consumed within their jurisdiction.

The BC provincial government has announced that the minimum age to possess, purchase, and consume cannabis in BC will be 19 and that cannabis will be sold in both publicly and privately owned retail stores and online through the BC Liquor Distribution Branch’s retail site. In February 2018, the BC Retail Sales framework was released.

Find the latest updates here.

What happens once cannabis is legalized?

Once cannabis is legalized:

  • Individuals aged 19 and older will be able to possess up to 30 grams of legal dried cannabis—or the equivalent in non-dried form—and they will be able to share up to 30 grams with other adults.
  • Individuals will be able to purchase cannabis from provincially licensed private retail stores, provincially operated retail stores, and the provincially operated online retail site.
  • Public consumption of cannabis in Kamloops will be limited by:
    • Provincial legislation, which prohibits cannabis smoking everywhere that tobacco smoking is prohibited and everywhere that children commonly gather (playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks, etc.)
    • The City’s Parks Regulation Bylaw, which prohibits cannabis smoking and vaping in all parks and City facilities
    • The City’s Clean Indoor Air Bylaw, which prohibits cannabis smoking and vaping within a 7 m buffer zone of all public entrances to buildings
  • Public intoxication will be prohibited, as will the sale of cannabis to those intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

What is the City able to regulate?

As a general rule, municipalities can regulate retail locations through their zoning bylaws and some aspects of retail operations through their business licensing bylaws. Issues pertaining to public consumption and personal growing may also fall within municipal jurisdiction.

The extent of municipal governmental jurisdiction is determined by the Province and the authority granted in the Community Charter and the Local Government Act. Forthcoming provincial decisions may broaden or restrict the scope of what cities like Kamloops will be responsible for regulating at a local level.

Municipal governments may also choose to support the federal and provincial governments with public education initiatives and the enforcement of certain rules and regulations concerning such matters as:

  • New fire and building regulations
  • Prohibitions on selling cannabis to minors
  • Rules on the consumption of cannabis in public
  • Rules on personal cultivation of cannabis

When can private retailers apply for licences?

Referrals are now being accepted from the BC provincial government for private cannabis retail Business Licences in Kamloops. An application guide and form on the private cannabis retail process in Kamloops are now available.

Application Guide   Application Form

The BC Provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (formerly the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch) is responsible for licensing private non-medical cannabis retail stores. Any Kamloops private cannabis retail application must be reviewed first by this provincial authority before being referred to the City by the Province.

When will retail cannabis licenses be approved?

On October 16, 2018, Council will review for Council Resolution the City's first retail cannabis sales licence application (No. CAN00001 for 200-1210 Summit Drive). View the full report here.

The first private retail cannabis sales license applications will be heard for Council Resolution on October 30, 2018.  

Where in Kamloops is a retail cannabis store able to be located?

There are four zones in which non-medical cannabis retail stores may be located. These zones are identified in the Zoning Bylaw Amendment Bylaw No. 5-1-2878.

Where will adults be able to grow their own cannabis within the city once it is legal?

Once legalized on October 17, 2018, individuals aged 19 years and older will be able to grow cannabis at home for personal use, but not for resale. A maximum of four plants per household will be permitted by federal and provincial law. Plants must not be visible from a public place. Landlords and strata councils will be authorized to restrict or prohibit non-medical cannabis cultivation.

Why is it important for the City to pass local regulations prior to legalization?

The situation is unique in that an entirely new industry is being developed within a very short period of time. It is important for the City of Kamloops to have its own regulations in place at the time of legalization so that we can ensure that this new industry is introduced in a manner that best meets the needs of all Kamloops residents. This includes determining where it would be best to locate retail stores and whether any Business Licence restrictions or requirements should be imposed in order to fairly balance community interests.

The City’s Business Licensing Section has received a significant number of inquiries from companies and individuals wishing to operate cannabis retail stores in the City, and we expect that demand for Business Licences will be high. In order to balance competing community interests, the City wants to ensure that its regulations fairly address the needs of retail operators and their neighbours.

Will there be government-owned retail cannabis stores?

The BC province government has announced that it will operate retail cannabis stores. Kamloops will be the location of the first government-owned cannabis store in BC, which will be located within the Columbia Place Shopping Centre. 

Where and how many government stores in BC has not been determined at this time.

Will “cannabis cafés” be legal once cannabis is legal?

Consumption lounges have not been approved by the BC provincial government at this time. It is anticipated that this will be reviewed in 2019. 

Will “edibles” (cannabis food products) be legal?

Currently, edible cannabis products are not legal in Canada. In June 2019, Health Canada finalized regulations for the production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals. As required by the Cannabis Act, the amended regulations will come into force on October 17, 2019. View full details here.