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Cannabis Production on the ALR

Currently, local governments are not permitted to prohibit medical cannabis production on the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). Provincial Bylaw Standards dictate the extent to which medical cannabis production can be regulated. UBCM members have opposed these rules, requesting, as part of endorsed resolution 2014-B113, local governments be allowed to regulate the production of medical cannabis within the ALR through land use provisions. Local governments have identified a number of concerns related to medical cannabis production on ALR, including:

  • Production may be detrimental to food security/supply;
  • Increasing speculation that has led to rising land prices;
  • Policing and security requirements identified in the federal licensing scheme may fall to local governments;
  • Odour and light pollution from cannabis production.

The UBCM Executive, at its May 18, 2018 meeting, agreed to support a moratorium on the production of non-medical cannabis on ALR land until the provincial government undertakes a comprehensive review and broad consultation with local governments. This was communicated to Minister Doug Donaldson, who also agreed to meet with UBCM on June 26, 2018.

Most recently, UBCM representatives recently communicated UBCM's position to the Metro Vancouver Regional District Mayors Committee as part of a July 6, 2018 presentation

Cannabis Excise Tax Revenue Sharing

A two-year Federal-Provincial-Territorial Agreement on Cannabis Taxation sees the federal government retain 25% of excise tax revenue (up to a maximum of $100 million per year), with the remaining 75% (or more) going to provinces and territories. The federal government will not directly provide local governments a share of the excise tax revenue, leaving that responsibility to provinces and territories. As of July 2018, only Ontario and Quebec have completed cannabis taxation revenue sharing agreements with local governments.

UBCM has adopted a principled approach to guide its negotiation of a cannabis excise tax revenue sharing agreement with the provincial government:

1. Cannabis legalization should not result in additional local government funding by property taxpayers;
2. Local governments should be reimbursed for costs associated with the implementation of legalized cannabis;
3. Local governments should be reimbursed for any additional policing costs resulting from cannabis legislation;
4. Remaining excise tax revenue (after taking out expenses incurred as part of principles 1-3, and the federal share) should be shared between the Province of British Columbia and local governments.

The Province of British Columbia expects to receive $125 million in cannabis excise tax revenue over the first two years of legalization.

Legalization of Non-Medical Cannabis

Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation
UBCM and the provincial government have established the Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation (JCCR), a forum for local governments to share their experiences and knowledge and discuss issues of interest or concern with the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat. The JCCR webpage includes all Committee reports, the Terms of Reference, and other pertinent documents. 

Federal Background Information
On April 13, 2017, the federal government tabled cannabis legalization and enforcement legislation, Bills C-45 and C-46. Legislation has placed the federal government in charge of cannabis supply as well as establishing certain minimum conditions that provincial legislation must meet to ensure consistency. Provinces and territories have been placed in charge of minimum age; distribution; personal possession; personal cultivation; consumption; retail sales; compliance and enforcement (e.g. drug-impaired driving); zoning; and, workplace safety. On June 19, 2018, the Senate approved Bill C-45, which subsequently received Royal Assent. The next day, the Senate approved Bill C-46, while the federal government announced that non-medical cannabis would be legalized on October 17, 2018.

Provincial Background Information
On April 26, 2018, the Province introduced cannabis legalization legislation, in the form of two new bills and key amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act. The Cannabis Distribution Act (Bill 31) places the Province in charge of non-medical cannabis wholesale distribution, and establishes government-run retail outlets and online sales. The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (Bill 30) creates new cannabis offences, and the authority to issue fines ranging from $2,000 - $100,000 and recommend imprisonment of 3-12 months. A community safety unit will handle enforcement against illegal dispensaries and others operating outside the legalized framework. Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act (Bill 17) will allow for a 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition to be placed on drivers found under the influence of drugs, as well as impose a zero tolerance policy for drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program. All proposed legislation received Royal Assent on May 31, 2018.

UBCM Resolutions
In 2017, UBCM members endorsed Special Resolution SR1:

Therefore be it resolved that the UBCM membership endorse the following principles to guide UBCM’s advocacy with the provincial government regarding local government’s role in a BC framework for cannabis:

  • fulsome and meaningful provincial consultation with local governments;
  • provision of adequate provincial funding to cover any responsibilities and increase in administrative burden of any provincial framework that requires local government participation;
  • equitable sharing of tax revenues from cannabis between all orders of government; and
  • respect for local choice, jurisdiction and authority, including but not limited to land use and zoning decisions.

Additionally, in 2016, BC local governments endorsed two resolutions [PDF - 32 KB] directly related to the federal government’s plan to legalize cannabis.

Medical Cannabis

Released in 2013, the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulation (MMPR) took effect on April 1, 2014. The regulatory framework administered by Health Canada ended the practice of individuals growing medical marijuana in private dwellings by creating a licensing system for a limited number of third parties to produce and distribute medical marijuana.

Originally, only dried marijuana was to be produced, sold and possessed. This regulation was changed in June 2015, after the Supreme Court ruled that this restriction violated the right to liberty and security in a manner contrary to the principles of fundamental justice. This ruling game medical patients the right to access and produce other cannabis products. In February 2016, a federal judge struck down the federal regulations that had prohibited patients from growing their own medical cannabis. As a result of this ruling, the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) were introduced on August 24, 2016, thus replacing the MMPR.


BC Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General to UBCM re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 467 KB] – Apr 2017
Minister of Justice to UBCM re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 808 KB] – March 2017
UBCM to Bill Blair, MP re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 111 KB] – Mar 2017
UBCM to Minister of Health re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 111 KB] – Mar 2017
UBCM to Minister of Justice re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 111 KB] – Mar 2017
UBCM to BC Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 123 KB] – Mar 2017
UBCM to BC Minister of Justice & Attorney General re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 123 KB] – Mar 2017
UBCM to BC Minister of Health re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 123 KB] – Mar 2017
Cannabis Legalization & Regulation Secretariat to UBCM re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 498 KB] – Dec 2016
UBCM to Cannabis Legalization & Regulation Secretariat re: Legalization of Marijuana [PDF - 432 KB] – Aug 2016


Cannabis Legalization Legislation Passes Final Vote - June 2018
Senate Passes Bill C-45 with Amendments
- June 2018
Legislation for Cannabis Control & Licensing, Distribution
- May 2018
Cannabis Legalization Guide Released
- Apr 2018
UBCM Principles for Cannabis Taxation
- Mar 2018
Submission on ALR/ALC Revitalization
- Mar 2018
Cannabis Regulations Safeguard Local Choice, Jurisdiction
- Feb 2018
UBCM Submission on Cannabis Legalization
- Dec 2017
Health Canada Consultation on Cannabis Regulation
– Nov 2017
One Week Left for Cannabis Engagement – Oct 2017
UBCM Focused on Cannabis Legalization, Housing – Sep 2017
Local Governments, Stakeholders Discuss Cannabis Legalization – Sep 2017
Cannabis Legalization Update – Sep 2017
Analysis of Marijuana Survey – June 2017
Federal Marijuana Legislation Introduced – May 2017
Marijuana Survey Underway – April 2017
Update on Marijuana Legalization – April 2017
Input Sought for Marijuana Regulation – Mar 2017
Ruling Allows Municipal Regulation of Dispensaries – Feb 2017
Marijuana Legalization Task Force Releases Report – Dec 2016
Federal Marijuana Legalization Task Force Report Due Soon – Nov 2016
Marijuana Dispensaries – Sep 2016
Forums Focus: Streetside Health Care; Reconciliation; Marijuana Dispensaries – Sep 2016
cá độ trực tuyến Marijuana Task Force Seeks Feedback – July 2016cá độ trực tuyến


UBCM Presentation on Cannabis Production on the ALR [PDF - 817 KB] - July 2018
UBCM Submission to Province re: Cannabis Legalization - Nov 2017
Survey Report [PDF - 1.5 MB]
 - May 2017

Relevant Legislation

Federal Bill C-45 - June 2018   
Federal Bill C-46 - June 2018
Provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (Bill 30) - May 2018
Provincial Cannabis Distribution Act (Bill 31) - May 2018
Provincial Motor Vehicle Amendment Act (Bill 17) - May 2018


Bhar Sihota, Policy Analyst
bsihota@ cá độ trực tuyến
604 270 8226 ext. 114

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