Cannabis retail stores and compassion clubs applicants

Business licences

There are two cannabis business licence categories in Vancouver:

  1. Retail Dealer – Cannabis business licence: For cannabis stores that sell non-medical cannabis
  2. Compassion Club business licence: For non-profit societies that don't sell cannabis but advocate its use for medical purposes and provide a wider range of health services to their members

Application process

Retail Dealer - Cannabis

Step 1: Meet municipal requirements

Find a business location that meets zoning requirements. The location must be in a commercial zone, and be at least 300 m from:

  • Schools
  • Community Centres
  • Neighbourhood houses
  • Youth facilities that serve vulnerable youth
  • Other cannabis businesses

See the Zoning and Development Bylaw (Section 11.28.2)  (552 KB) distancing requirements for more detail.

  • If you have questions, call the Services Centre at 604-873-7611

Step 2: Get a municipal development permit

Reference the forms below and apply for a municipal development permit.

The development permit application fee is based on floor space. See schedule 1 of the Zoning and Development Fee Bylaw  (590 KB).

 Businesses with an existing City of Vancouver development permit who wish to operate a cannabis retail store will begin at Step 3. All businesses are required to apply for and obtain a provincial licence and new municipal licence.

Step 3: Get a provincial Cannabis Retail Licence

After the development permit is approved, apply for a provincial cannabis retail licence External website

The City will recommend approval or denial of the provincial application as part of this process. 

Step 4: Get a municipal business licence

After a provincial licence is approved, the City will contact you to apply for your municipal business licence.

The licence will only be issued after building and occupancy permits are closed, and a City inspection is complete.

Compassion Club

Follow the standard process to apply for a municipal business licence

Compassion Clubs do not require a provincial licence because they do not sell cannabis.

Compassion Clubs who wish to sell cannabis must apply for both a provincial cannabis retail licence and a municipal business licence to become a cannabis retail store.

Report a concern

Have a concern about a cannabis business? Phone 3-1-1.