Monday, May 30, 2022

Council to receive report on Cannabis Regulation and what City may or may not be able to about it

It has been a topic of note in the community for many months, with the ever present smell of cannabis growing in the city, particularly the downtown area making for a number of questions from residents asking if the City can do anything about it.

The issue became the significant part of the conversation follow a recent fire downtown which consumed a pair of local businesses. 

Such was the tone of discussion coming out of that event, that Mayor Lee Brain spoke briefly to the topic, promising a more detailed response once a civic report was delivered.

Those additional comments from the mayor could come tonight, with Council set to receive a report from the city's Corporate Administrator which will highlight some of the challenges the City faces in taking action on the issue.

The report notes of the difference between medical and non-medical grow situations and offers up two streams for the Council members to follow towards the situation in the city. 

One a recommendation of a new by-law to regulate cultivation, the other a call to continue to lobby the Federal government to bring change to their handling of the issue:

Staff is recommending to Council that a bylaw be created to regulate cannabis cultivation through the use of nuisance (odor) considerations as well as imposing building code, electrical code and fire safety regulations. Any bylaw drafted will need to ensure it does not conflict with federal or provincial legislation and recognizes the supremacy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

In addition, Staff is recommending that Council lobby upper levels of government to address the issue through amendments to the Cannabis Act using Federal of Canadian Municipalities (“FCM”) resolutions, letters and meeting requests with relevant federal departments.

The Corporate Administrator will also look to deflect further conversation from the community on the topic towards the Federal government, offering up a destination and a form for residents to register their concerns.

The City of Prince Rupert is not in a position to take complaints or answer questions in regards to the legality of (medical) grows in Prince Rupert as the City receives no notice or has an opportunity to comment on zoning compliance. 

Residents are encouraged to send their complaints directly to Health Canada at the form included in this Report to Council. 

This information will also be uploaded to the City’s website.

The form that the City is directing residents to use can be accessed here.

The full report from Ms. Rosa Miller can be reviewed below:

click to enlarge

The full documentation of the proposed Bylaw and where it would be applied can be examined as part of the Agenda for tonight's session.

The Council Session starts at 7PM at City Hall or you can view it through the City's live feed.

As we've noted the topic has been somewhat of a long running narrative for City Council you can review some of the past engagement to the topic here.

More notes on tonight's Council Session can be reviewed here.

Past council discussion themes can be examined from our archive page.


  1. Just follow Surrey's lead, and beef up our by law department.

    Implement an Electrical Fire Safety Initiative to address public safety risks associated with high electrical energy consumption within Prince Rupert
    Unusually high electrical consumption or unsafe building modification is a public safety threat to the building's owners and to all neighbouring buildings and their tenants as recognized by the EFSIT.
    The alteration of structures, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical wiring and equipment, gas piping and fittings, appliances and accessories in or on controlled substance properties and properties used for the production of other substances creates danger to occupiers and neighbours of controlled substance properties and properties used for the production of other substances and risks to the health and safety of the occupiers and neighbours;
    Properties in the City of Prince Rupert identified as being used for the manufacture, storage, growing or sale of controlled substances such as marihuana or methamphetamine must meet health and safety requirements before people are allowed to occupy the property.
    • Invoices property owners for special safety inspections performed by the Electrical Fire Safety Inspection team.
    • Invoices property owners for dismantling costs incurred by the RCMP.
    • Ensures controlled substance properties are remediated to the City’s requirements or demolished.

  2. The elephant in the room is why has it been 3 plus years to even acknowledge there is a problem (they are legal and nothing can be done) and start to act on it.
    The mayor will be long gone before any bylaw is brought before council.

  3. Why does the city state they are not in a position to take complaints. The whole idea is feed back from the community. The city should be open to receiving complaints. The city might not be in a position to act on complaints but should always be willing to hear them. Very disappointed with city management with their head in the sand attitude.