Cannabis retail stores

The sale of non-medical cannabis will be legal on October 17, 2018

As of October 17, 2018, all cannabis retail stores will require a Provincial licence to operate in Vancouver, which will be regulated and enforced by the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act External website.

Learn more and apply

Vancouver operators will also require a municipal development permit and a municipal business licence. Compassion clubs will be allowed to offer services but not sell cannabis.

Per provincial regulations, medicinal cannabis may only be purchased online.

The application process

There are four steps in the permit and licensing process for cannabis retail dealers. Each applicant must:

  1. Find a business location that meets all City zoning requirements
  2. Obtain a development permit
  3. Obtain a provincial cannabis retail licence External website
  4. Obtain a municipal business licence

Additional regulations

In addition to the application requirements outlined above, a cannabis store will be eligible to operate if they:

  1. Are located in commercial zones
  2. Follow the Zoning and Development Bylaw (Section 11.28.2)  (320 KB) distancing requirements, which are at least 300 m from:
    • Schools
    • Community centers
    • Neighbourhood houses
    • Youth facilities that serve vulnerable youth
    • Other cannabis businesses

Businesses with issued permits and licences

Medical-marijuana-related retail stores and compassion clubs that have an existing City of Vancouver development permit must apply for a provincial cannabis retail store licence if they wish to continue operating after October 17, 2018.

Upon receipt of a provincial licence, retailers must obtain a new municipal business licence.

Licensed locations

Blue locations have a development permit. Green locations have a development permit and have been operating with a business licence issued under the previous medical marijuana-related and compassion club licensing program.

Unlicensed locations

Businesses at these locations are operating outside of our approval process and are subject to enforcement. They do not have a municipal development permit or a business license.

Comment on an application or its appeal

As part of the application process for a new Cannabis Store Development Permit, we inform local residents and businesses in the area with:

  • A site sign
  • A notification letter to addresses within a two-block radius

 Businesses that already have development permits for cannabis retail will post site signs when they apply for their provincial cannabis retail licences.  

Comment on an application (listed by address and development permit number)

Applications that do not meet zoning requirements will be refused. Applicants may appeal to the Board of Variance. If the board grants an appeal, the applicant can move forward in the permits and licencing process.

Residents and businesses are welcome to attend a board meeting to comment on an appeal.

Report a concern

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

Cannabis retailer feedback Applicants