Legalization of Recreational Cannabis Update – Request for Proposals


With the Federal Government announcing that non-medicinal use of cannabis is legal, and the Province unveiling a high-level overview of its regulatory framework for retail cannabis, prospective retailer have begun making applications to the Province for licensing.  A requirement of this process is that applicants must concurrently have local government approval with respect to zoning and other matters that are valued by the local community.

The City of Duncan’s current Zoning Bylaw No. 3166, 2017 does not permit cannabis related retail or cultivation in any zone.  In order for a retailer to consider the City of Duncan, staff proposed in a report to Council on November 19th, 2018 a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) approach.  This process would allow Council to select businesses on a case by case basis, based on an outlined criteria that the business applicant has to meet.

At the November 19th, 2018, Council meeting, Council passed the following motion:

That Council establish as guiding principles that retail sales of cannabis and cannabis related products not be located within:

  1. 400 metres of any other location where the retail sale of cannabis and cannabis related products has been authorized by the City or an adjacent jurisdiction;
  2. 300 metres of any school;
  3. 300 metres of any group daycare;
  4. 150 metres of Centennial Park, McAdam Park, Rotary Park, Charles Hoey Park, any adjacent municipal or regional park; and
  5. 50 metres of any land zoned Low Density Residential (LDR);

And That Council direct staff to issue a Request for Proposals for Temporary Use Permit applications to authorize the retail sale of cannabis and cannabis related products to run from January 1, 2019, to February 1, 2019, substantially in the form attached to the November 19, 2018 report of the Manager of Planning.”

These guiding principles may allow for a limited number of retail sales outlets throughout the City.  The proposed guidelines above can be refined within the Request for Proposal (RFP) requirements for the TUP which will be considered as a pilot process.

Key Facts:

Who can open up a cannabis retail establishment in the City of Duncan?

Currently, the City of Duncan Zoning Bylaw No. 3166, 2017, prohibits cannabis operations in all zones of the City.  The City is currently drafting a TUP Request for Proposal criteria for retail applicants to consider and submit for Council consideration.

Will the public have input into locations or applications?

Any business seeking a cannabis retail licence from the Provincial Government requires a positive recommendation from the City.  The City is currently drafting guidelines, to allow retail sales within the City’s boundary.  If the public is of the interest that these guidelines need amending, Council may consider any feedback submitted.

What can the City of Duncan regulate?

Most aspects of legalization are the responsibility of the Federal and Provincial governments, however the City can regulate applications under a variety of tools including; Zoning, Development Permits and the Official Community Plan.

Next Steps:

How is the City of Duncan going to offer retail businesses to set up?

City Council has directed staff to establish an RFP process for the retail sale of cannabis. Applicants may submit proposals based on the RFP requirements and guidelines approved by Council.  Council will decide which applications for cannabis retail will be approved based on the RFP requirements and those that best benefit the City.

View the RFP documents.

Who to Contact:

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns:

Planning Department: 250-746-6126 or

2018-12-03 – Legalization of Recreational Cannabis