News Flash

City News

Posted on: November 23, 2021

Coquitlam Considers Cannabis Regulatory Framework

Image of cannabis plants

COQUITLAM, B.C., Nov. 23, 2021 – Coquitlam is one step closer to regulating the growth and sale of cannabis in the community as the supporting bylaw changes move forward to a Public Hearing.

The Cannabis Regulatory Framework has been in development since mid-2020 with the goal of promoting economic development for an emerging business sector, while minimizing potential impacts on the community. 

Proposed Framework Details

Should Council ultimately approve the Cannabis Regulatory Framework, it will provide policy guidance and regulations on the operation and locations of cannabis production and processing facilities, as well as retail stores, within Coquitlam. 

For production and processing of cannabis:

  • Indoor production and processing would be allowed in Industrial zones, in standalone buildings or within stratified buildings, with no separate Council approval.
  • Indoor processing would also be allowed in Business Enterprise zones, with no separate Council approval.
  • A 200-metre separation distance would be required for cannabis production and processing facilities from sensitive land uses (e.g. residential areas, schools, parks, child care).
  • Applications would be reviewed through the Building Permit application process, and through this process staff will be able to ensure that all special considerations around air quality, product storage, by-products or waste and wastewater are appropriately managed. 

For retail sales of cannabis products and accessories to the public:

  • Retail sales would be considered by Council on a case-by-case basis in commercial areas through a site-specific zoning amendment process.
  • Zoning amendment applications would be accepted from Jan. 4 – 14, 2022 and processed in two batches (including two Public Hearings) – one for City Centre and one for Southwest Coquitlam.
  • Staff would review the applications for cannabis retail stores against criteria outlined in the City’s Cannabis Production, Processing and Retail Policy and Procedure.
  •  Initially, a maximum of two stores would be considered in City Centre, with a maximum of one store each in Burquitlam, Lougheed, Austin Heights and Maillardville.  
  • A buffer zone must be maintained from schools, and separation distances are expected from parks and other places where children or youth are commonly located, such as recreation centres, daycares, and learning centres. 
  • Design criteria such as transparent windows and clear sightlines into the stores would ensure active street frontages are maintained and appropriate fit within the neighbourhood.

Provide Feedback through Public Hearing Process

Because implementing the Cannabis Regulatory Framework involves amending several bylaws, the next step will involve a Public Hearing process, anticipated for Dec. 13, 2021. Information for anyone interested in providing feedback through this process will be available at www.coquitlam.ca/publichearing.

Previous public and stakeholder consultation on the proposed framework was conducted in late January and February and received 1,255 responses, primarily from Coquitlam residents. That feedback, along with Council feedback and best practices from other municipalities, was used to refine the Regulatory Framework.

Generally, the City’s suggested approach has received support, with those in favour pointing to the potential for the businesses to provide jobs and stimulate the economy. Information about the engagement process to date, including an infographic summarizing feedback, is available at letstalkcoquitlam.ca/cannabis.

Visit www.coquitlam.ca/cannabis for background and information about the proposed cannabis regulations. The webpage also provides links to receive email updates about the Cannabis Regulatory Framework, or sign up directly at www.coquitlam.ca/notifyme.

Media contact

Chris McBeath
Senior Planner
City of Coquitlam
604-927-3436
cmcbeath@coquitlam.ca


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