Cannabis Production & Processing in the City of Port Alberni

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Consultation has concluded


Cannabis is regulated in Canada by a combination of federal, provincial and municipal rules. Due to recent changes to federal legislation various types of production and processing are now legal in Canada. Local governments play a significant role in determining how and where cannabis production occurs a community and may choose to regulate or prohibit certain kinds of cannabis production.

Following a three-month public engagement process, Council gave staff direction to develop bylaw amendments to the City’s zoning bylaw [Bylaw 4832] that will introduce cannabis cultivation and processing [indoor facilities only] as a permitted use within city limits.

Council’s Direction

ONLY Indoor facilities to be permitted, as follows:

  1. That Standard Cultivation Facilities (anything more than 200m2 in size) be allowed in the Light Industry (M1), Medium Industry (M2), and Heavy Industry (M3) zones.
  2. That Micro-Cultivation Facilities (anything up to 200m2 in size) be allowed in the Light Industry (M1), Medium Industry (M2), Heavy Industry (M3), Service Commercial (C3), and High Commercial (C4) zones.
  3. That Cannabis Nursery Facilities (limited to 50m2 in size) be allowed in the Light Industry (M1), Medium Industry (M2), Heavy Industry (M3), Service Commercial (C3), and Highway Commercial (C4).

Other zoning bylaw regulations and policy to be introduced:

  1. That staff propose definitions for the types of Cannabis Facilities that are consistent with Health Canada’s definitions.
  2. That staff include recommendations for building setbacks, buffer zones, and regulations to help mitigate noise and odor concerns.
  3. That any Cannabis Production Facility be required to obtain a Development Permit (regarding building form and character) to ensure a high-quality development and mitigate impacts to the visual landscape.

Staff developed the proposed bylaw amendments in accordance with Council's direction, and the Advisory Planning Commission reviewed the amendments at the May 8, 2020 meeting. There was considerable discussion but the majority of the feedback was in regards to buffer zones around schools, parks and playgrounds. The APC recommended Council support the proposed bylaw amendments.

City Council gave 1st and 2nd reading to the proposed Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments at the May 25, 2020 Regular Council Meeting. Public notice was given in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act, advising of the Public Hearing scheduled for September 14, 2020.

A public hearing was held on September 14, 2020. Members of the public attended the Public Hearing – virtually in addition to some correspondence being received. A summary of the concerns expressed includes the following:

  • Potential impact of temperature inversions in the Alberni Valley
  • Odour and emissions not being properly regulated and controlled
  • Pollutants
  • Location of industrial zones near the waterfront and breezes coming off the inlet
  • Odour issues with existing medical marijuana facilities
  • Outdoor growing operations on ALR land
  • Enforcement of the bylaws

Council proceeded to give 3rd reading to the bylaw amendments at its September 28, 2020 Regular meeting. Final consideration of the bylaws is being given by Council at the October 13, 2020 Regular Council Meeting.


Cannabis is regulated in Canada by a combination of federal, provincial and municipal rules. Due to recent changes to federal legislation various types of production and processing are now legal in Canada. Local governments play a significant role in determining how and where cannabis production occurs a community and may choose to regulate or prohibit certain kinds of cannabis production.

Following a three-month public engagement process, Council gave staff direction to develop bylaw amendments to the City’s zoning bylaw [Bylaw 4832] that will introduce cannabis cultivation and processing [indoor facilities only] as a permitted use within city limits.

Council’s Direction

ONLY Indoor facilities to be permitted, as follows:

  1. That Standard Cultivation Facilities (anything more than 200m2 in size) be allowed in the Light Industry (M1), Medium Industry (M2), and Heavy Industry (M3) zones.
  2. That Micro-Cultivation Facilities (anything up to 200m2 in size) be allowed in the Light Industry (M1), Medium Industry (M2), Heavy Industry (M3), Service Commercial (C3), and High Commercial (C4) zones.
  3. That Cannabis Nursery Facilities (limited to 50m2 in size) be allowed in the Light Industry (M1), Medium Industry (M2), Heavy Industry (M3), Service Commercial (C3), and Highway Commercial (C4).

Other zoning bylaw regulations and policy to be introduced:

  1. That staff propose definitions for the types of Cannabis Facilities that are consistent with Health Canada’s definitions.
  2. That staff include recommendations for building setbacks, buffer zones, and regulations to help mitigate noise and odor concerns.
  3. That any Cannabis Production Facility be required to obtain a Development Permit (regarding building form and character) to ensure a high-quality development and mitigate impacts to the visual landscape.

Staff developed the proposed bylaw amendments in accordance with Council's direction, and the Advisory Planning Commission reviewed the amendments at the May 8, 2020 meeting. There was considerable discussion but the majority of the feedback was in regards to buffer zones around schools, parks and playgrounds. The APC recommended Council support the proposed bylaw amendments.

City Council gave 1st and 2nd reading to the proposed Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments at the May 25, 2020 Regular Council Meeting. Public notice was given in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act, advising of the Public Hearing scheduled for September 14, 2020.

A public hearing was held on September 14, 2020. Members of the public attended the Public Hearing – virtually in addition to some correspondence being received. A summary of the concerns expressed includes the following:

  • Potential impact of temperature inversions in the Alberni Valley
  • Odour and emissions not being properly regulated and controlled
  • Pollutants
  • Location of industrial zones near the waterfront and breezes coming off the inlet
  • Odour issues with existing medical marijuana facilities
  • Outdoor growing operations on ALR land
  • Enforcement of the bylaws

Council proceeded to give 3rd reading to the bylaw amendments at its September 28, 2020 Regular meeting. Final consideration of the bylaws is being given by Council at the October 13, 2020 Regular Council Meeting.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Where should Cannabis Cultivation & Processing be allowed?

about 1 year

Please drag and place a pin on the map to indicate where you think Cannabis Cultivation and/or Processing should be allowed in Port Alberni.

Leave a note with the pin if you have additional thoughts you'd like to share! 

CLOSED: This map consultation has concluded