Retail Cannabis Update

Release date: 
July 11, 2018

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) announced today that Kamloops will be the first location in British Columbia to operate a government-owned cannabis retail outlet.

The 3,000 sq.ft. BC Cannabis Store will be located in the Columbia Place Shopping Centre in Sahali. Kamloops was selected as the first location in the province because of our municipality’s readiness for the zoning of cannabis retail operations. The BC LDB is currently considering a number of locations across various municipalities for the location of other BC Cannabis Stores and is focused on ensuring a careful and efficient roll-out that will provide the best possible customer experience and compliance with all health and safety regulations.

"We have been working collaboratively with the BC Provincial Government throughout the changing legislation," said CAO, David Trawin. "The City of Kamloops will proceed to work in this manner as the public-private retail cannabis model rolls out in Kamloops."

The Kamloops BC Cannabis Store will be staffed with approximately 20 employees, including a store manager, assistant manager, and knowledgeable cannabis consultants. Postings for these roles are expected to be published within the next week on www.bcldbcannabisupdates.com/opportunities/careers.

Federal Context: The federal Cannabis Act - Bill C-45 received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018, setting the stage for the production, distribution, sale, possession, and consumption of non-medical cannabis, beginning October 17, 2018.

The Federal Government will be responsible for licensing and monitoring cannabis producers and for setting industry-wide rules and standards for the cultivation, processing, packaging and advertising of non-medical cannabis. 

Provincial Context: The BC Provincial Government has appointed the Liquor Distribution Branch to be the sole wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis, while retail sales will be offered to the public through a combination of public and private retail store locations as well as online government sales.

Once legislation is adopted, the Provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (formerly the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch) will be responsible for licensing and monitoring private non-medical cannabis retail stores. The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch will only issue non-medical cannabis sales licences to retail operators that have received a council resolution supporting the operator’s site-specific provincial licence application. 

The City of Kamloops participates on the Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation (JCCR), whose mandate is to provide a forum for timely and effective communication and consultation between local governments and the Province in the development of the provincial regulatory framework for legalized cannabis.

Local Context: In an effort to keep pace with federal and provincial regulations, the City of Kamloops has amended its Business Licence and Regulation Bylaw and Zoning Bylaw. There are four zones in which non-medical cannabis retail stores may be located subject to specific proximity criteria. The report and amended bylaws can be viewed at www.kamloops.ca/cannabis.

Additional City bylaw changes will be forthcoming to create the cannabis licensing application process and business licensing requirements. These bylaw changes will be coordinated with the provincial licensing requirements once the provincial legislation is finalized. The City’s participation on the JCCR ensures that it has the most up-to-date information concerning the provincial cannabis licensing process, which will assist in the development of a local application process that is both fair and equitable.

The City will not accept applications for non-medical cannabis retail stores prior to the full implementation of federal and provincial regulations. Private operators will be expected to go through the City’s official permitting process, not through a delegation to City Council.

Information on provincial applications and the online application portal can be found at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/liquor-regulation-licensing/cannabis-regulation.

Additional information is available on the following provincial web pages:

For additional information on non-medical cannabis Business Licences in the City of Kamloops, please contact Dave Jones, Business Licence Inspector and Property Use Coordinator, at djones@kamloops.ca or 250-828-3594.

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