Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy

Update June 10, 2021

Applications for a Recreational Cannabis Retail Store location in Central Lonsdale have now closed. All submitted applications are being reviewed by staff who will contact all of those who submitted during the week of June 14.

Background

On September 24, 2018, City Council endorsed the Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy. This policy will serve as a guide to help inform Council’s decision-making on permitting new recreational cannabis retail stores in the City of North Vancouver, with a focus on the following considerations:

  • Land Use
  • Separation distance from sensitive uses
  • Maximum number and geographical distribution of stores
  • Application processing and approval

The Policy establishes the process by which those who are interested in operating a recreational cannabis retail store can apply to amend the City’s Zoning Bylaw for one of six locations in the City to allow the use of Cannabis Sales.

The City initially reviewed applications submitted during the official intake period between November 19, 2018 at 10am (PST) to November 30, 2018 at 5pm (PST). Applications were reviewed on a "first come, first served" basis for compliance with submission requirements outlined in the City’s Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy. As per the Policy, the first two complete applications received in Areas 1 and 2, and the first complete applications received in Areas 3 and 4 were invited to submit a rezoning application, with the remaining being placed on a list in the order received in the appropriate area of the City. In the event any previous applications were unsuccessful in getting Council support, the next location on the list would be contacted to make a rezoning application.

During the implementation of the Policy to date, the list that was established for the two Central Lonsdale locations was exhausted, with one of the two available locations approved by Council (see table below for list of completed applications that were received). All the other areas listed in the Policy have been approved by Council and are considered filled.

The Policy as it was approved included a two-year time period to report back to Council on how it was being implemented. As that two-year period was in the fall of 2020 with the one location remaining available, it was decided to freeze further applications from being submitted until staff received direction from Council on how the Policy should move forward. It was decided that the Policy remain unchanged until further information was available on how the stores that were allowed to open were operating. The result of this direction is to begin accepting applications once again.

 


Applicant Location

AREA 1 (Central Lonsdale) - 2 store maximum
1   1717 Lonsdale Avenue DENIED
2
1200 Lonsdale Avenue DENIED
3
119-1433 Lonsdale Avenue ACCEPTED
4
1520 Lonsdale Avenue DENIED

AREA 2 (Lower Lonsdale) - 2 store maximum  (closed to applications)
1
315 Lonsdale Avenue DENIED
2
221 West 1st Street ACCEPTED
3
143 East 2nd Street DENIED
4
115 East 1st Street ACCEPTED
5
121 East 1st Street (unable to apply)
6
142 West 3rd Street (unable to apply)
7
148 East 2nd Street (unable to apply)

AREA 3 (West) - 1 store maximum  (closed to applications)
1
C-725 West 14th Street DENIED
2
1-820 Marine Drive ACCEPTED

AREA 4 (East) - 1 store maximum  (closed to applications)
1
333 Brooksbank Avenue ACCEPTED

Selection Process and Approval

Due to the time period that a freeze was placed on not receiving new applications, and the uncertainty of how many parties would be interested to fill the one remaining Central Lonsdale location, the City has established a modified submission system to create a new list of potential applicants for the one available location. The modified system being used is the result of the one location remaining, and from the feedback the City received from the last submission period to maximize fairness and transparency for all interested parties wanting to apply.

The City will be accepting submissions for the remaining Central Lonsdale location for a period of 24 hours between June 9, 2021 at 9:00 AM (PDT) and June 10, 2021 at 9:00 AM (PDT). A complete application form, along with all required supplemental information and documentation, must be submitted as a single digital package (in PDF format) through the City’s SendIT file transfer service in order for the application to be considered complete. Please be advised that submissions not received within this time frame will be ineligible.

Complete applications that successfully fulfill the submission requirements will be reviewed on a “first come, first served” basis with all those received in the first hour being placed in a lottery that will determine the list of those who may submit their rezoning application. For example, the first one selected will be asked to submit a formal rezoning application, along with the required $4,026.25 application fee. The remaining selections in the lottery will be placed on a waiting list should the previous application not be successful in getting the property rezoned. All complete submissions received after the first hour will be listed on a “first come, first served” basis after the last selection of those who were in the lottery. Should the City receive only one complete submission during the first hour, that will be the selected applicant to make a rezoning application with those following listed using the same “first come, first served” system.

Should the lottery be required, it will be held open to those who submitted a complete proposal during the first hour of the submission window. These persons will be contacted to arrange a convenient time to gather at City Hall (141 West 14 Street, North Vancouver) to witness the lottery draw. The draw will determine the order of these first-hour submissions that will be reviewed subject to the first and subsequent applications being rejected. Provincial COVID-19 protocols in effect on the day will be enforced, and the draw may be required to be held outdoors.

Please be advised that all those selected to make a rezoning application must follow the standard rezoning procedure before proceeding to Council for consideration. This includes the applicant organizing an open house to allow members of the pubic to gather information on your plans and to provide feedback, as well as the required Public Hearing. As with all rezoning applications, Council retains the discretionary authority to approve or reject each individual application based on its own merits, context and other factors. Recreational cannabis retail stores must obtain a non-medical cannabis retail license from the provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) in order to operate. Should an application go through the Public Hearing and be given Third Reading, it will be held until confirmation of provincial approval is received, prior to Final Adoption of the rezoning application. The anticipated time period for this process is approximately four months from the time of making the application to the Public Hearing. This should be considered when securing the location for your store.

If an application gets withdrawn or is rejected by Council, the next applicant from the list will be invited to submit a rezoning application. Should the list be exhausted without a successful application, the City will then receive applications on a “first come, first served” basis.

Submission Criteria and Requirements

A checklist can be found in the Policy in Schedule 4. It is the responsibility for all those who wish to be on the list of those to be considered to make a rezoning application to ensure the checklist is followed when making your submission. The Retail Areas Map below shows the potential locations within the Central Lonsdale Area where stores may be considered, after taking into account the sensitive use exclusion buffers. Prospective applicants should familiarize themselves with these requirements and ensure their proposed location is in full compliance.

 

Potential Sites for Recreational Cannabis Retail Stores

 map legend

Note: This interactive map contains the most up-to-date information on potential recreational cannabis retail store locations.

Does this policy affect regulations pertaining to medical marijuana production?

The Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy does not impact existing City regulations on medical marijuana producers, which will continue to be permitted in the M-2 (industrial) zone in the Zoning Bylaw.

Does this policy regulate home production of recreational cannabis?

No, personal cultivation of recreational cannabis will be regulated and monitored by senior levels of government. Federal regulations allow for personal cultivation of up to four plants. The Province of British Columbia has further established regulations restricting home-grown plants from being visible from public spaces, and restricting home production in dwellings with daycare uses. Please note that landlords and strata councils may further prohibit personal cultivation of recreational cannabis.

How will public consumption of recreational cannabis be dealt with?

The Province of British Columbia has established regulations allowing for public consumption of recreational cannabis where tobacco smoking and vaping are permitted. However, public consumption will be banned in schools, beaches, playgrounds, common apartment areas, skate parks, inside vehicles, health facilities, restaurants, parks and sports fields. Municipal regulations such as the Smoking Regulation Bylaw will be further used to regulate public consumption of recreational cannabis.

What do I need to provide, in addition to the application form, for my submission to be considered complete?

The Recreational Cannabis Business Application Form provides a comprehensive list of supplemental information and documentation that must be submitted with your application package. If you have any questions regarding the submission requirements, please contact City staff.

Can I submit more than one application?

A business/operator may only submit one application for a single location per Area (as defined in the Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy). Should the City receive multiple submissions from the same business/operator for location(s) in the same Area, only the first submission will be considered. Only one application for a single location may be submitted at a time.

Do I need to apply for a provincial non-medical cannabis retail license prior to submitting a rezoning application with the City?

Yes, local government referral for a provincial non-medical cannabis retail license is a submission requirement. The referral must come from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch directly to the City. As explained by LCRB, applications that meet provincial licensing requirements and have paid the application fee will be referred to local governments for recommendation.

Why is rezoning approval required to operate a recreational cannabis retail store?

The Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy provides for a site-specific rezoning approach, as it allows for Council to retain its discretionary authority to consider each individual application on its own merits, context and other factors, including feedback from the public.

As a member of the public, how can I provide my input on a rezoning application for a proposed recreational cannabis retail business location?

Shortly after rezoning application submission, all applicants will be required to organize and host a public information session (open house), to provide the public with an opportunity to learn about each application and provide feedback. Written feedback and questions may be directed to staff at any time during the staff review stage of the rezoning process. As part of the rezoning process, a public hearing will be scheduled for each application. This will provide members of the public an opportunity to provide their input on a specific application directly to Mayor and Council.

What happens if a rezoning applicant withdraws, or if an application is rejected by Council?

Should an application be withdrawn during the rezoning stage; another applicant will be selected from the list of completed applications received during the 24-hour time period.

If my rezoning application is approved, what other municipal permits will I require?

Upon successful rezoning, applicants must submit a business license application to the City. Building/plumbing/electrical permit applications may also be required, if renovations or tenant improvements to the store location are needed.

Will the City consider more stores and/or other land uses in the future?

In accordance with the Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy, staff will monitor businesses once they are operational and keep Council informed of the status of recreational cannabis retail businesses in the City. Staff will reassess the policy to determine whether amendments are warranted and return to Council with a recommendation for next steps. As part of this reassessment, discussions regarding additional store locations and/or other land uses may occur.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this policy affect regulations pertaining to medical marijuana production?

The Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy does not impact existing City regulations on medical marijuana producers, which will continue to be permitted in the M-2 (industrial) zone in the Zoning Bylaw.

Does this policy regulate home production of recreational cannabis?

No, personal cultivation of recreational cannabis will be regulated and monitored by senior levels of government. Federal regulations allow for personal cultivation of up to four plants. The Province of British Columbia has further established regulations restricting home-grown plants from being visible from public spaces, and restricting home production in dwellings with daycare uses. Please note that landlords and strata councils may further prohibit personal cultivation of recreational cannabis.

How will public consumption of recreational cannabis be dealt with?

The Province of British Columbia has established regulations allowing for public consumption of recreational cannabis where tobacco smoking and vaping are permitted. However, public consumption will be banned in schools, beaches, playgrounds, common apartment areas, skate parks, inside vehicles, health facilities, restaurants, parks and sports fields. Municipal regulations such as the Smoking Regulation Bylaw will be further used to regulate public consumption of recreational cannabis.

What do I need to provide, in addition to the application form, for my submission to be considered complete?

The Recreational Cannabis Business Application Form provides a comprehensive list of supplemental information and documentation that must be submitted with your application package. If you have any questions regarding the submission requirements, please contact City staff.

Can I submit more than one application?

A business/operator may only submit one application for a single location per Area (as defined in the Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy). Should the City receive multiple submissions from the same business/operator for location(s) in the same Area, only the first submission will be considered. Only one application for a single location may be submitted at a time.

Do I need to apply for a provincial non-medical cannabis retail license prior to submitting a rezoning application with the City?

Yes, local government referral for a provincial non-medical cannabis retail license is a submission requirement. The referral must come from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch directly to the City. As explained by LCRB, applications that meet provincial licensing requirements and have paid the application fee will be referred to local governments for recommendation.

Why is rezoning approval required to operate a recreational cannabis retail store?

The Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy provides for a site-specific rezoning approach, as it allows for Council to retain its discretionary authority to consider each individual application on its own merits, context and other factors, including feedback from the public.

As a member of the public, how can I provide my input on a rezoning application for a proposed recreational cannabis retail business location?

Shortly after rezoning application submission, all applicants will be required to organize and host a public information session (open house), to provide the public with an opportunity to learn about each application and provide feedback. Written feedback and questions may be directed to staff at any time during the staff review stage of the rezoning process. As part of the rezoning process, a public hearing will be scheduled for each application. This will provide members of the public an opportunity to provide their input on a specific application directly to Mayor and Council.

What happens if a rezoning applicant withdraws, or if an application is rejected by Council?

Should an application be withdrawn during the rezoning stage; another applicant will be selected from the list of completed applications received during the 24-hour time period.

If my rezoning application is approved, what other municipal permits will I require?

Upon successful rezoning, applicants must submit a business license application to the City. Building/plumbing/electrical permit applications may also be required, if renovations or tenant improvements to the store location are needed.

Will the City consider more stores and/or other land uses in the future?

In accordance with the Recreational Cannabis Retail Policy, staff will monitor businesses once they are operational and keep Council informed of the status of recreational cannabis retail businesses in the City. Staff will reassess the policy to determine whether amendments are warranted and return to Council with a recommendation for next steps. As part of this reassessment, discussions regarding additional store locations and/or other land uses may occur.




Contact Info

Email: planning@cnv.org 

Tel: 604-983-7357

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