Frequently Asked Questions About Non-Medical Cannabis Use
- Where is it illegal to smoke/vape cannabis in Abbotsford?
- If I see illegal smoking/vaping, who do I contact?
- If I have health concerns who can I contact?
- Is smoking/vaping in townhouses/apartments legal?
- Does Abbotsford have retail stores?
- How do businesses get a retail license for selling cannabis products?
City Council recently updated the Smoking Regulation Bylaw, No 2694-2017 to prohibit cannabis smoking and vaping in the same areas in which smoking was already prohibited by municipal bylaw. These changes were made following consultation with the Medical Health Officer for the Fraser Health Authority.
In addition, provincial law restricts the smoking and vaping of cannabis in many public areas including areas in which children are likely to gather, including playgrounds, sports fields, and skate parks, on school properties and in vehicles.
If you observe violations, please contact the City’s Bylaw Services team or call 604-864-5512. You may also contact the Abbotsford Police Department’s non-emergency line at 604-859-5225.
For all health concerns, please contact Fraser Health.
The Provincial Residential Tenancy Act and Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act allow property owners to prohibit cannabis smoking under existing leases that prohibit smoking tobacco and to prohibit the personal cultivation of cannabis under existing leases, except for federally authorized medical cannabis. For new leases, the existing provisions of each Act that allow landlords and tenants to negotiate the terms of leases will apply. It is the responsibility of management to ensure rules are being enforced.
Currently, cannabis retail stores are prohibited in the City of Abbotsford. However, Council has directed staff to explore options for developing a framework for regulating non-medical cannabis. This will include potential changes to the Abbotsford Zoning Bylaw No. 2400-2014 and Business Licence Bylaw No. 1551-2006 depending on the approach adopted by Council.
Retail dispensaries, whether existing or new, must obtain a provincial retail cannabis store licence in addition to complying with municipal zoning and business licensing bylaws. The process for obtaining a provincial retail cannabis store licence includes background checks, site plan review, and site-specific public consultation. Accordingly, even though possession of cannabis has been legal since October 17, 2018, the Province has indicated that there will not be any licensed private retail stores operating as of that date.
Please visit the Province of BC Liquor Distribution Branch website for further updates and information regarding Cannabis licensing and use in BC.