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City to issue first Development Permits for medical marijuana-related businesses

February 1 2016

City Hall's 12th Avenue entrance

Decisions are expected in February on the first Development Permit applications for medical marijuana-related retail uses submitted under our recently-adopted zoning regulations.  

Applications currently under review

14 applications are currently under review, all located in permitted commercial zones and at least 300 metres away from:

  • Schools
  • Community centres
  • Neighbourhood houses
  • Other zoning-compliant medical marijuana applications

The 300 metre distancing requirements approved by Council on June 24, 2015, are based on leading practices in other jurisdictions and similar to the 1,000 foot distance required in Washington and Colorado states.

Signs have been posted on the sites and notification letters have been sent to addresses within two blocks of each site. All feedback received from the community is being carefully considered in the Development Permit decision.

View information about each application

About the licensing process

Once a Development Permit is approved, the application will move into the final stage of approval: obtaining a Business Licence. Our licensing process includes background checks for applicants and staff and verification of credentials for health practitioners at compassion clubs. Business License applicants must also comply with all other City regulations including the Health Bylaw, Fire Bylaw, and Building Bylaw.  

How locations will be declustered

Evaluation is also underway for 19 preliminary applications that meet all zoning requirements except for the minimum distancing from other medical marijuana-related retail use applicants. These “clustered” applications are being evaluated using four criteria defined in the our Business License Bylaw.

In each of the six clusters the applicant with the best score may continue in the permits and licensing process at that location. The other applicants must close within six months, but may continue in the process if they find an alternate site that meets zoning requirements. The declustering process will conclude in spring 2016.    

Refused applications

In October 2015, 135 preliminary Development Permit applications were refused because they did not meet zoning requirements for medical marijuana-related retail uses. Operating businesses must close within six months of the date of their refusal.  

62 applicants have appealed their preliminary Development Permit refusal to the Board of Variance. The Board will begin hearing appeals on February 17, 2016. If the Board grants an appeal, the applicant may continue in the our permits and licensing process.  

About the Board of Variance meetings

Board of Variance meetings are open to the public, and appeal hearing notifications will be sent to addresses within one block of each site.

Learn more about the Board of Variance 

Application process

We are not accepting new applications for medical marijuana-related uses until the processing of all active applications received in the first intake is complete.

Application process for medical marijuana-related businesses