Legalization of Non-Medical Cannabis in Canada

Non-medical cannabis was legalized in Canada as of October 17, 2018. Residents are encouraged to know the rules and respect the rights of neighbours now that non-medical cannabis use has been legalized across Canada.

Federal and Provincial Regulations

You must be 19 or older to buy, possess or use cannabis in British Columbia. It is a criminal offence to drive while impaired by cannabis or any other drug. The provincial and federal governments have enacted comprehensive regulations governing the purchase, possession and use of cannabis. Visit BC Government - Cannabis webpage for more information on these regulations.

Under provincial and federal regulations, adults aged 19 or older can grow up to four non-medical cannabis plants per household. These plants cannot be grown in a space that is visible from a public place such as parks, streets, sidewalks, sports fields and school properties. Growing cannabis at home is banned in homes that are licensed daycares. Landlords and strata corporations can further restrict or prohibit growing non-medical cannabis on their properties.

Smoking Bylaw

Richmond’s Public Health Regulation Bylaw No. 6989 applies to all types of smoking activity including use of tobacco and cannabis products and vaping. The bylaw was updated effective May 1, 2018 to further extend prohibitions on any type of smoking in additional public spaces. New regulations in Public Health Protection Bylaw No. 6989 include:

  • No smoking at public parks and school grounds (e.g. beaches, trails, playgrounds, playing fields, golf courses, docks, piers, heritage sites, public recreation centres, arenas, swimming pools, City Hall plaza, and other City properties that are open to the public).
  • No-smoking within nine metres of transit shelters, transit signs, customer service areas (patios), doors, windows and air intakes (previously three metres for transit shelters and six metres for all other areas).

Smoking of all types remains prohibited in workplaces and other indoor spaces frequented by the public. For more information, visit the City Bylaws page.

While smoking of cannabis may be permitted in your home and some public areas, residents are encouraged to be aware of the impact of their second hand smoke on others and take steps to limit the spread of smoke. Renters or residents of strata properties should also be aware of and abide by any smoking prohibitions established by their landlords or strata corporations.

No Retail Outlets in Richmond

The City of Richmond has chosen to prohibit the retail sale of cannabis within Richmond. The City will vigorously enforce its bylaws should any retail cannabis outlet attempt to operate within Richmond. Local residents wishing to purchase non-medical cannabis can do so through the province’s online distribution centre or licensed outlets elsewhere in British Columbia.

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