The federal government’s recently-enacted Cannabis Act made it legal for adults in Canada to possess, grow or use cannabis for recreational purposes as of October 17, 2018.
The provinces and municipalities have the power to further regulate commercial cannabis production, retail, home cultivation and public use.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler has done this through adopting zoning regulations related to recreational cannabis that:
- Prohibit cannabis retail in Whistler;
- Limit commercial cannabis production to a single site in Function Junction; and
- Allow home cultivation.
Provincial law and the RMOW Smoking Regulation Bylaw regulate smoking cannabis in public.
The provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act also regulates cannabis. Among other things, the Act:
- Prohibits cannabis smoking and vaping everywhere tobacco smoking and vaping are prohibited, as well as at playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks, and other places where children commonly gather;
- Prohibits the use of cannabis on school properties and in vehicles;
- Prohibits home cultivation in homes used as daycares; and
- Establishes licensing criteria for cannabis retail, including a requirement for municipal approval for the issuance of a retail licence.
NOTE: This page provides information about recreational cannabis. For information about medical cannabis, consult the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has followed the cannabis legalization process closely and is taking steps to support the safe, responsible introduction of recreational cannabis in Whistler.
- Specialized training for staff including training on provincial and federal legalization and regulations
- Working directly with provincial and federal health and regulatory agencies
- Consulting with the RMOW’s legal counsel
- Following how other municipalities are regulating recreational cannabis
- Researching policy and regulatory approaches related to recreational cannabis
- Compiling and analyzing information about Whistler that is relevant to legalization
- Working with the Province, RCMP and federal agencies to support enforcement post-legalization
The RMOW intends to prioritize health and safety and the resort experience, as it considers how cannabis will be introduced into the community. Public consultation will occur in conjunction with any changes to existing regulations.
Prospective Cannabis Retail Businesses
The RMOW has received many inquiries from prospective cannabis retailers.
Whistler has prohibited the retail sale of cannabis through its Zoning Bylaw. Under the Provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA) a provincial cannabis retail licence (which is required to legally retail cannabis in Canada) cannot be issued without municipal approval.
The RMOW may revisit zoning regulations on retail in the future, and this process will include public consultation.
Due to the prohibition in the Zoning Bylaw, there are no properties in Whistler that are eligible for a cannabis retail licence and it is a criminal offence to sell cannabis without a provincial licence. The CCLA also prohibits a landlord from renting a property for the purposes of illegal cannabis retail.
Although the RMOW may consider permitting legal retail in the future, the RMOW has a zero tolerance policy for illegal retail and will take enforcement action against any illegal retailers setting up in Whistler. This includes bylaw enforcement and requesting provincial and federal prosecution and criminal charges.
In the near future, the RMOW expects to be consulting with prospective retailers who are interested in operating licensed retail businesses in Whistler.
If you are interested in opening a provincially-licensed retail facility in Whistler or are interested in discussions to shape any future rules related to retail, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal information is collected for the purposes of providing email updates if the RMOW intends to commence consultations with prospective retailers and cannabis related businesses. Personal information is collected under the authority of s.26(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Your personal information, including your name and email address, will be securely stored within the RMOW files and will be kept on file for as long as this initiative continues. If you have any questions about how your personal information will be used, or if you want to unsubscribe from this list at any time, please contact the Planning Department at email@example.com or 604-935-8170.
Your inquiry will be kept on file and you will be notified of any future consultation opportunities. Please note, due to the high volume of inquiries from prospective retailers, the RMOW will not be granting requests for meetings, sales presentations or information sessions from representatives of the cannabis industry (e.g. retailers, producers and affiliated representatives).
The Province has also developed a regulatory and licensing regime for cannabis retail that will be administered through the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch. Prospective retailers should familiarize themselves with this licensing regime. However please note, it is not recommended or necessary to apply for a provincial licence at this time. RMOW approval is required to obtain a retail licence, which the RMOW is not providing at this time. Any applications for provincial licences made prior to the RMOW amending its bylaws will be rejected.
Community members play an important role in ensuring cannabis is used safely and legally. Regardless of RMOW regulations, Whistler residents are able to obtain cannabis through the Province’s online retailer, from licensed retailers outside of Whistler, or (subject to landlord and strata rules) through home cultivation.
If you plan to use or grow cannabis, or you are a parent, please learn about cannabis safety and applicable laws at:
If you notice contraventions of municipal bylaws related to cannabis, you can call 604-935-8280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you notice illegal sales or cultivation please contact the Whistler RCMP.
There are no licensed retailers in Whistler. However, visitors are free to bring home-grown cannabis or legally purchased cannabis from elsewhere to Whistler.
Visitors planning to smoke cannabis in Whistler should check Whistler’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw, provincial regulations, and the policies of their accommodation providers to find out where cannabis can be smoked.
Visitors travelling from outside of Canada must also comply with federal and provincial laws, and any applicable laws of their home country.
Do not enter or exit Canada with cannabis. This is illegal.
Visit canada.ca/cannabis if you are visiting Canada from another country and would like more information.
Smoking in Public
Provincial law and the Whistler’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw regulate smoking cannabis in public.
In some areas, like playgrounds and school facilities, smoking cannabis is prohibited.
If you plan to smoke cannabis, it is your responsibility to know the rules, as well as any provincial or federal regulations related to smoking.
Home cultivation is now legal in Canada, BC and Whistler.
Home cultivation is a permitted use throughout Whistler under the Zoning Bylaw. Residents may grow up to four plants indoors or outdoors, provided they comply with the rules of the Federal Cannabis Act and the Provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.
However, strata corporations and landlords can further regulate and prohibit the use and cultivation of recreational cannabis under the Strata Property Act and Residential Tenancy Act.
If you are growing or plan to grow recreational cannabis in your home, it is your responsibility to know the rules including provincial and federal regulations, RMOW bylaws, strata bylaws and rules in your tenancy agreement.
Commercial cannabis production in Whistler remains limited to one production facility in Function Junction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about cannabis use, retail and cultivation.