All cannabis retail stores require a Provincial licence to operate in Vancouver, which is regulated and enforced by the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch under the
Cannabis Control and Licensing Act External website, opens in new tab
Business licence and development permit issued
Development permit issued
What you need to know to ensure your personal use is legal
The federal government has legalized the recreational use of cannabis.
Regulations and jurisdiction
In June 2018, the federal government passed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis in Canada. The provincial government has provided new regulations for businesses to operate.
We've updated our Zoning and Development and our License bylaws to ensure Vancouver cannabis retailers operate in adherence to all regulations.
Read an overview of each level of government's jurisdiction.
The federal government is responsible for the legislation to legalize recreational cannabis.
They also oversee its legal supply and production, which includes regulations for licenced producers, product packaging, quality control and testing, and audit and enforcement of all producers as needed.
The sale of medical cannabis is only available for purchase through the Federal
The federal government will enforce against all suppliers and producers who do not follow the legislation.
Province of British Columbia
The provincial government has restricted the purchase and possession of cannabis to those 19 years and older. They also determine where cannabis can be consumed in public.
Similar to liquour stores, the provincial government oversees the retail framework for the sale of recreational cannabis.
Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) is responsible for deciding if a business will receive a retail licence, but will seek out recommendation from the City of Vancouver.
BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be the sole, wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis for the province and will operate standalone, public retail stores and provide online sales.
The provincial government will enforce against businesses that are not in compliance with their regulations.
The City of Vancouver decides where cannabis retailers may operate in Vancouver.
We require all cannabis retailers to have a municipal development permit and business licence, in addition to a provincial cannabis retail licence, before they can operate.
We will review and recommend provincial businesses licences. Once a provincial licence applicant is approved, we will reach out to the business to apply for a municipal business licence.
We are responsible for enforcing our bylaws against operators who do not have a valid municipal development permit or business licence.