What is the purpose of the public engagement process and online survey?

    The City is looking to gather input from the public at this time to help inform a set of recommendations that will be brought forward to City Council in the fall of 2019. The information gathered through this process will be combined with an analysis of best practices and other research to develop a set of "made in Port Alberni" recommendations about zoning for cannabis production and processing.

    What tools does the City of Port Alberni have to regulate cannabis facilities?

    The City determines what permitted uses are allowed in each distinct zone. As such, like any other permitted use for a particular zone, the City can determine which zones Cannabis Production Facilities will be allowed to operate within. There are two exceptions.

    First, the Government of BC has declared cannabis production a protected farm use so long as it is grown in a way that preserves the land’s “productive capacity.” If this condition is met, the City cannot prohibit Cannabis Production Facilities from operating on farmland that is within the boundaries of the Agricultural Land Reserve.

    Second, federal Port Authority lands are not subject to municipal bylaws (including zoning bylaws), so the City would not have the ability to prevent a Cannabis Production Facility on these lands either.

    What about lands that are zoned for agricultural use, but are not in the ALR?

    The City is able to allow or deny Cannabis Production Facilities in agricultural zones that are not within the boundaries of the Agricultural Land Reserve.

    What will happen after the zoning changes are made?

    CPFs will be permitted in the zoned areas of the city that are approved for these facilities. In addition, Staff will recommend to Council that the City conduct a review of the changes to further assess any impacts and recommend modifications after a trial period.

    What role do the provincial and federal governments play in this process?

    The Government of BC has declared cannabis production a protected farm use so long as it is grown in a way that protects the land’s “productive capacity,” which prevents municipalities and regional districts from not allowing Cannabis Production Facilities on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve. However, while allowing these facilities on ALR land, the Government of BC has no role in the approval of specific facilities.

    The Cannabis Act and its supporting regulations came into force on October 17, 2018. Health Canada is now accepting applications from those who want to become a cannabis licence holder under the Act. The Federal Government authorizes the production and sale of cannabis products through this licensing process. Health Canada issues these licenses to ensure that any Cannabis Production Facility meets federal standards, as well as provincial and municipal regulations. Industry (licensed or not) must comply with the Cannabis Act.

    What is a Cannabis Production Facility (CPF)? How is it different from a Cannabis Retail Store?

    A “Cannabis Production Facility” includes the growing, processing, packaging, testing, destruction or storage of cannabis, whereas a “Cannabis Retail Store” displays, sells, or offers for sale cannabis and must have a provincial retail cannabis license.

    What is the difference between micro and regular cultivation?

    What determines the difference between micro cannabis production and regular cannabis production is the size of the production facility. The City can decide where this distinction lies, though most municipalities and regional districts that have made this distinction set the threshold at 200m2. Facilities that are smaller than 200m2 are considered micro productions and are generally allowed in areas that are closer to residential or commercial zones.