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Legalization of Cannabis


Legalization of Cannabis
Cannabis (commonly referred to as marijuana) will be legal for recreational use in Summer or Fall of 2018. Legalization will mean that all adults 19 years of age and older will be able to purchase it for their own use.

The exact date of legalization has not yet been determined by the federal government.

Many of the decisions surrounding cannabis legalization will be made by the provincial and federal governments.
British Columbia has determined that cannabis will be sold in both publicly and privately-owned retail locations.

Local governments, such as the City of Powell River, are responsible for the regulation of some aspects of cannabis legalization including land-use zoning, business licensing, and where Cannabis can be consumed. Mayor and Council will have a veto power on all Retail license applications submitted to the Provincial Government.

The City’s goal is to have regulations in place in the near future. With respect to the legalization of cannabis, the role of local government includes:

  • Retail sales: zoning and business licensing to determine where cannabis stores may be located
  • Public consumption: identifying where consuming cannabis will be allowed in Powell River. The current Municipal Bylaw restricts where people can smoke or vape tobacco. This includes a 7-metre buffer from commercial and public building entranceways, schools, parks, amenity areas, and transit stops. Council wants to know if public consumption should continue to be the same as tobacco or become more restrictive, similar to liquor.


Understanding what residents of Powell River would like will help the City prepare for legalization within the short timeframe and implement rules that are acceptable to our community.  In order to be ready for cannabis legalization, the City of Powell River is taking the following steps to prepare:
  • Seeking feedback from the public on the areas that local government can regulate (retail outlets and public consumption). 
  • A survey has been published online and is available in hard copy form at City Hall, Powell River Library, and Recreation Complex. 
  • Neighbourhood meetings are being held at:
    • The Evergreen Theatre on May 9th at 7pm
    • Max Cameron Theatre on May 16th at 7 pm
    • Italian Club in Wildwood on May 22nd at 7 pm

For people with additional comments or longer submissions about the development of City regulations regarding cannabis legalization, please send them to


The City and Council will develop and implement regulations to best meet the community’s desires and also achieve objectives established by the federal and provincial governments.

City Council is committed to ensuring that residents and businesses in Powell River have a voice in the development of municipal cannabis regulations. To make the best decisions that we can for the City, Council needs to hear from as many people as possible in order to reflect our diverse perspectives.

Cannabis legalization is a complex issue involving all levels of government.




We encourage you to be informed!




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