Vernon City Council has approved the changes to the Zoning Bylaw to permit cannabis sales, processing and cultivation in many of its commercial and industrial zones.
The amendments to Zoning Bylaw #5000 now permit recreational cannabis sales in the following commercial zoning districts: C3 to C12 – Commercial, RTC – Resort Commercial, CD1 and CD5 – Comprehensive Development District.
In addition, the amendments permit cannabis cultivation facilities (medical, non-medical, micro-cultivation, hemp and nurseries) in the A1 – Agriculture within the ALR (a minimum of 50 m from any property where residential is the principal use) and I1 – Light Industrial districts (in enclosed buildings only), pursuant to licensing by the federal government.
Also, the amendments permit cannabis processing, micro-processing, analytical testing and research in the I1 – Light Industrial and I4 – Business Park zoning districts.
The process to obtain a retail cannabis license or license for other cannabis-related activities is regulated by the province, or, in the case of medical cannabis, through the federal government (see the FAQs, below). Now that the amendments have been approved by Council, the City can accept applications for cannabis sales and other cannabis activities.
A public hearing was held November 26 to gather public input on the zoning changes.
Government of Canada Cannabis Act
Province of BC Cannabis Control and Licensing Act
City of Vernon Parks and Public Places Bylaw #5057
Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Guide to Cannabis Legalization.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What orders of government are responsible for regulating cannabis?
The Federal Government will be responsible for licensing and monitoring cannabis producers and for setting industry-wide rules and standards for the cultivation, processing, packaging and advertising of non-medical cannabis.
Provinces and territories control the distribution and retail sales of non-medical cannabis within their jurisdictions. The BC Provincial Government has appointed the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) to be the exclusive wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis, while retail sales will be offered to the public through a combination of government and privately owned stores, as well as online through the government site.
For more information, visit the Provincial cannabis retail sales webpage.
Municipal governments can regulate retail, cultivation, processing and research locations through their zoning authority, and some aspects of retail operations through their business licensing authority. Municipal governments may also support the federal and provincial governments with public education. Enforcement of cannabis sales rules and regulations is largely through the provincial government, except for the land use and licensing aspects that are regulated by municipal government.
Where can I use recreational cannabis?
Smoking and vaping of all products is allowed on private property unless otherwise prohibited. Smoking and vaping of all products is prohibited at transit stops, parks, playgrounds, schools, lake access sites and boat launches. Smoking and vaping cannabis is prohibited on sidewalks.
Will the City of Vernon enforce the no smoking/no vaping bylaw?
Yes. Bylaw officers may issue warnings for the short term however they reserve the right to issue tickets to gain compliance.
Who should I call if I see someone smoking or vaping outside of the designated areas?
Citizens can call the Bylaw department at 250-550-3505. Bylaw Compliance Officers will attend; however more serious calls are attended to first, which may delay arrival. You can also use the VernonConnect app to report concerns. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.