How Cannabis is regulated
The Federal Cannabis Act became law in October 2018, establishing a legal framework for controlling the lawful production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis in Canada.
Each Province and Territory has the authority to regulate certain aspects including distribution and retail. Municipalities have the authority to further regulate certain aspects such as retail through land use and business licensing regulations and public use through smoking regulations.
In B.C., the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) oversees liquor and non-medical cannabis regulations. These are the rules and laws that govern B.C.'s private retail sale of liquor and non-medical cannabis.
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.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler has regulated cannabis 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.
Prospective Cannabis Retail Businesses
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 is currently developing a comprehensive policy framework update based on Official Community Plan (OCP) goals, objectives and policies to provide regulatory direction, guide the review of applications, and consistency in decision-making to permit cannabis retail establishments in Whistler.
To learn more visit whistler.ca/RetailCannabis.
Commercial cannabis production in Whistler remains limited to one production facility in Function Junction.
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.
Cannabis use in Whistler
Provincial law and the RMOW 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.
Report cannabis infractions
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.