Cannabis production, sales and use

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The Government of Canada legalized cannabis in Canada as of Oct. 17, 2018. Federal, provincial, and municipal legislation guides the production, sales and use of cannabis.

Cannabis production
  • Cannabis production facilities are regulated by Zoning Bylaw No. 12375., Cannabis Production Facilities includes both medical and non-medical cannabis production. This is currently a permitted principal use in Kelowna on Industrial (I1, I2 and I3) zoned properties.
  • Properties with new Cannabis Production Facilities are required to be located a minimum of 60 metres from any property which allows a residential use as a permitted principal use.
  • Cannabis production facilities must be on a property that is zoned to allow cannabis production as a permitted use. A City of Kelowna business licence and a federal production licence are required. Additional requirements of the Building, Fire and Safety codes would also need to be met as part of the licensing approval process.
  • Cannabis production facilities are required to be premise isolated from water utility distribution by a reduced Pressure Backflow Preventer (RPBA). 
  • Federal and provincial legislation regulates growing of cannabis at residential locations. For further review of the regulations, please review the Medical Marihuana Producer Business Licence and Regulation Bylaw.
Cannabis sales

Sale of cannabis in unapproved retail locations is unlawful, as cannabis remains a controlled substance with strict rules around distribution.

Application process to sell cannabis at a retail location
Location requirements for cannabis retail stores

Council adopted zoning changes that are designed to address fairness among retailers, while ensuring they are in appropriate areas of the city – similar to the approach with retail liquor stores. These regulations have now been translated into Zoning Bylaw No. 12375. 

Retail cannabis sales establishments are permitted with a successful rezoning to the retail cannabis sales subzone as: 

  • A principal use in C1, C2, CA1, VC1, UC1, UC2, UC3, UC4 and UC5 zones 
  • A secondary use in I1 and I2 zones (with maximum 250 square metres gross floor area). 

The following regulations apply: 

  • Minimum 500 m distance between retail cannabis sales establishments 
  • Minimum 150 m distance from select parks 
  • Minimum 150 m distance from public elementary schools 
  • Minimum 500 m distance from public middle and secondary schools 

A rezoning application must be made to rezone to the retail cannabis sales subzone for a property in one of the above-listed zones. A City business licence and a Provincial Retail Cannabis licence will be required. Additional requirements of the Building, Fire and Safety codes also need to be met as part of the licensing approval process. 

Check out the draft map of properties which may allow a retail cannabis sales establishment. This map has been created to demonstrate the potential opportunities for retail cannabis locations in Kelowna under draft land use control regulations proposed by staff. The public and businesses should not rely on this map for investment purposes, and further due diligence is recommended. Council retains the ability to approve or deny rezoning applications. 

Cannabis use
Rules & regulations

To conform with provincial regulations, the same City Bylaws that currently apply to smoking or vaping in public areas will also apply to smoking cannabis. 

  • Cannabis smoking is allowed on private properties that permit smoking, and within some public areas where tobacco smoking is permitted. 
  • Cannabis smoking is not permitted in parks, public spaces and within six metres of doorways (provincial regulation); this includes sidewalk patios, bus shelters and boat launches. 
  • Cannabis smoking at Kelowna International Airport will be permitted in designated smoking areas. 

The B.C. Government’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (2018) outlines rules for the use of cannabis in B.C. 

Medical cannabis

Medical cannabis falls under federal regulation. Medical cannabis is provided to those with a permit from Health Canada to consume cannabis products grown under a personal production licence or designated grower for personal production licence, or purchased online and delivered via postal services from a commercial licenced producer.