Cannabis-Related Businesses

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Questions or concerns regarding Retail Cannabis Sales can be addressed to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LRCB):

Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch 
Toll free: 1.866.209.2111 or 250.952.5785
Email: lclb.lclb@gov.bc.ca 

Information is also available at this link.

Questions or concerns regarding proposed or existing Cannabis Production Facilities (CPF) under the ACMPR, or Bill C-45 can be addressed to Health Canada as follows:

Office of Controlled Substances
Health Canada
HC.licensing-cannabis-licences.SC@canada.ca 
1.866.337.7705
Website link

A list of authorized producers licensed by Health Canada to produce cannabis for medical purposes can be found here.

Questions or concerns related to cannabis production in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) can be addressed to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC):

Provincial Agricultural Land Commission
ALCBurnaby@Victoria1.gov.bc.ca 
1.800.663.7867
Website link

Information on Cannabis production in the ALR is also available at this link.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) has a voice when it comes to cannabis production and sales in the region. 

The process of issuing licenses for both cannabis production and retail sales is under the authority of the provincial and federal government. But local governments, like the CSRD, have been given the chance to provide recommendations to the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch on proposed retail sales license applications and feedback to Health Canada on production facility applications.

The CSRD has adopted a Policy and Procedure to deal with Cannabis-Related Businesses in the areas of the CSRD which are located outside municipal boundaries, First Nations Reserves and National Parks. 

The Policy and Procedure establish a clear set of criteria and procedure for the CSRD to follow when responding to license application referrals for any Cannabis-Related Business proposed in the CSRD.

***Please note that the CSRD updated the Policy on July 18th, 2019***

Key changes include:

  • allowing cannabis cultivation to occur in zones that permit agriculture
  • establishing a 100 m minimum separation distance between cannabis production facilities and private residences, schools, parks, public beaches, or other public meeting spaces
  • Reduction of the minimum setbacks for cannabis production facilities 500 m² or less in area to a 15 m setback to all lot lines, and a reduction of the minimum setbacks for cannabis production facilities greater than 500 m² to a 30 m setback from all lot lines. 

Minimum Separation and Setback Distances

Anyone interested in developing a Cannabis-Related Business is encouraged to contact the CSRD before making any final site selection decisions, as applications are considered on a site-by-site basis. A pre-application meeting can be scheduled anytime by contacting staff at: plan@csrd.bc.ca or 250.832.8194.

Cannabis Retail

Cannabis Retail licenses will not be issued by the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) unless the CSRD Board supports the issuance of the license. 

The CSRD must provide the chance for community feedback before making a decision on whether or not to support the application. This consultation can be through a public survey, or may also include a public meeting if requested by the Electoral Area Director.

Cannabis Production

Health Canada is the approval authority for all cannabis cultivation and processing licenses (including both “Micro” and Standard” licences) under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and Cannabis Act.

Health Canada does not require the CSRD's support of a proposal to allow it. They also do not require public consultation. The CSRD is, however, able to provide a response to Health Canada regarding whether the application complies with relevant CSRD Bylaws and policies and a summary of public input.

Development Permit and Building Permit

Depending on the nature and location of the proposed Cannabis-Related Business, a development permit and building permit may be required. Details of these possible permit requirements can be discussed with staff at your pre-application meeting.

The CSRD's role in Cannabis-Related Applications

The CSRD's process for dealing with Cannabis-Related Businesses differs depending if you are looking for a retail license to sell cannabis products or a production license to grow cannabis. Each of the buttons below will outline the steps that will need to be taken, depending on whether your application is for a retail sales operation or a production facility.

Retail Sales Application Process

Step 1: Once the CSRD receives a Cannabis Retail Referral from the LCRB, staff will conduct a preliminary review of the referral with the Electoral Director of the area in which the proposal is located to determine which type of public consultation is required (public survey or public meeting).

Step 2: The applicant will be contacted by staff and instructed to submit a Cannabis Retail Application Form to the CSRD.

Step 3: An application must be made to the CSRD on a form as prescribed by the Manager of Development Services and shall include:

1.  Name, address, and signature of owner(s) or agent acting on the owner’s behalf;
2.   Applicable fee, as set out in CSRD Development Services Application Fees Bylaw No. 4000, as amended from time to time;
3.   Current Certificate of Title dated within thirty (30) days of the date of application for all affected properties;
4.  The legal description and street address of the property(s);
5.  Plans and details of the proposal, including a site plan, floor plan, signage details, number of parking stalls, and hours of operation;
6.  A community impact statement that outlines the retail cannabis store’s potential positive impacts on the community, potential negative impacts on the community, and measures taken to address the store’s potential negative impacts;
7.  A map showing  day cares, health care facilities, etc. (complete list from 1.c. in Policy A-71) within 500 m of the subject property;
8.  A copy of the completed LCRB application form and any supporting documents submitted with the form; and,
9.  Any other information requested by the Manager of Development Services or his or her designate.

Step 4: Application process:

  • Upon receipt of a completed retail cannabis sales application, staff will open a file and issue a fee receipt to the applicant;
  • Staff will conduct an evaluation of the proposal for compliance with relevant CSRD bylaws;
  • If it is determined during staff’s review of the application that the proposal does not conform to relevant CSRD bylaws, the applicant will be notified in writing.  Staff will discuss with the applicant if the non-conformity(s) can be considered through the application, review, and approval of a land use amendment, issuance of a temporary use permit, development variance, or development permit.  In situations where the proposal does not conform with Policy A-71, staff will advise the applicant to make a written request to the Board to consider modifying the criteria of the Policy to support the proposal.  The request will need to provide the rational for why a variance of the Policy is justified;
  • A referral information package will be compiled by staff for review by the local Electoral Area Director, CSRD Operations Department, local RCMP, adjacent property owners and tenants (of all parcels within 100m of the proposed retail facility).  The referral package will include a copy of the application as outlined in Section 3 of this Procedure, and other relevant information obtained in the application. The referral response period will be thirty (30) days;
  • The CSRD will gather the views of residents that may be impacted by the proposal as follows:

1.  Public Survey (primary method of gathering feedback): A survey will be made available for any individual who believes their interests will be affected by the proposed cannabis retail store.  The survey will be accessible for thirty (30) days;
2.   Public Survey and Public Meeting (only to be conducted if staff are directed to do so by the Electoral Director of the area in which the proposal is located): Staff will arrange a meeting to present information about the proposed cannabis retail store and to gather community feedback. Community feedback at the public meeting will be in the form of verbal presentations or submission of written comments.  The applicant will be invited to the meeting and expected to attend to present relevant information and to answer questions.

  • Following the referral and public consultation period, staff will prepare a report to be considered by the Board.  The report will include:

1.  a description of the proposal and how it corresponds with relevant CSRD bylaws and policies;
2.  a copy of all input received on the application;
3.  a summary of key issues and concerns with a brief analysis of each; and,
4.  information about how the applicant has chosen to address (or not) the concerns.
5.  Preference will be provided for proposals that:
6.  conform with relevant CSRD bylaws and policies; including Official Community Plan zoning; Cannabis Related Businesses Policy A-71; and,
7.  demonstrate that community concerns have been adequately addressed.

Step 5: Public Notification Requirements:

  • Staff will make all arrangements for public notification;
  • Notice of the public survey will be advertised at least once in the print edition of a local newspaper not less than three (3) and not more than ten (10) days before the survey is posted;
  • Notice of public meeting will be advertised at least once in the print edition of a local newspaper not less than three (3) and not more than ten (10)  days before the public meeting; and,
  • Notice of both the public survey and public meeting will be made available on the CSRD’s website and social media platforms. 

Step 6: The Board may decide to support the application, not support the application, or request that the applicant provide additional information prior to determining whether it will receive support.

Step 7: Once the Board minutes have been prepared, the applicant and the appropriate approval authority will be notified in writing of the outcome.

Commercial Production Application Process

Step 1: The referral process starts once the CSRD receives a formal letter of notification from an applicant who has applied to Health Canada to become a licensed producer of cannabis. 

Step 2: Staff will conduct a preliminary review of notification letter to ensure that the description of the proposed facility includes the following information:

  • Name, address, and signature of owner(s) or agent acting on the owner’s behalf;
  • Applicable fee, as set out in CSRD Development Services Application Fees Bylaw No. 4000, as amended from time to time;
  • Current Certificate of Title dated within thirty (30) days of the date of application for all affected properties;
  • The legal description and street address of the property(s);
  • Plans and details of the proposal, including a site plan, floor plan, signage details, number of parking stalls, and hours of operation;
  • A community impact statement that outlines the cannabis production facilities positive impacts on the community, potential negative impacts on the community, and measures taken to address the store’s potential negative impacts;
  • A map showing  day cares, health care facilities, etc. ( list from 1.c. in Policy A-71) within 500 m of the subject property;
  • Any other information requested by the Manager of Development Services or his or her designate.

View Cannabis Sample Notification Letter and Proposal

View Cannabis Commercial Production Checklist

Step 3: If it is determined that the proposal does not conform to relevant CSRD bylaws, staff will discuss with the applicant if the non-conformity(s) can be considered through the approval of a land use amendment, issuance of a temporary use permit, development variance, or development permit.  In situations where the proposal does not conform with Policy A-71, staff will advise the applicant to make a written request to the Board to consider modifying the criteria of the Policy to support the proposal.  The request will need to provide the rational for why a variance of the Policy is justified.

Step 4: Development Services staff will evaluate the information received for compliance with relevant CSRD bylaws and policies; including Official Community Plan; Zoning; and Cannabis-Related Businesses Policy A-71.

Step 5: A referral information package will be compiled by staff for review by the local Electoral Area Director, CSRD Operations Department, local RCMP, Agricultural Land Commission (if applicable) and any other relevant stakeholders.  The referral package will include a site plan, description of the proposed cannabis production facility, and other relevant information obtained from the applicant. The referral response period will be thirty (30) days.

Step 6: Following the referral period, staff will provide a written response to the applicant, Health Canada and any other agencies or individuals included in the referral process.  The letter will convey how the proposal corresponds with relevant CSRD bylaws and policies and provide a summary of all input received on the application.