This conference helped me to find practical ways to integrate risk management in day-to-day operation.  
- Chief of Active Risk Surveillance, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CANADA
[   Register  |  Speakers  |  Venue  |  Agenda (PDF)   ]

Municipal Issues in the Legalization of Cannabis

A Specialized Forum for Municipal Regulators

April 17 - 18, 2018  ·  Vancouver, British Columbia
Day One Program Agenda: Tuesday, April 17, 2018
8:00 - 9:00        Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 9:15
Welcome and Opening Remarks from the Chair
Sara Dubinsky, Lawyer, Lidstone & Company
9:15 - 10:15
Municipal, Provincial and Federal Roles, Relationships and Responsibilities in Cannabis Legalization
Sara Dubinsky, Lawyer, Lidstone & Company
  • Who has jurisdiction over what? Role and responsibilities of municipalities, provinces and the federal government
  • Local impacts and implications for municipal governments
  • Timelines for development of bylaws and bylaw amendments
  • Need for public engagement and feedback
  • Best practices for bylaw enforcement
10:15 - 11:15
Land Use Planning, Zoning, Enforcement and Compliance
Iain Dixon, Lawyer, City of Vancouver
Tom Zworski, City Solicitor, Office of the City Solicitor, City of Victoria
  • Parameters of public consumption
  • Federal licensing of growing operations - do municipalities have a role?
  • Role of municipalities re home cultivation
  • Scope of municipal authority and jurisdiction of municipalities
  • Determining where dispensaries can operate
  • Options for land-use by-law amendments
11:15 - 11:30        Networking Break
11:30 - 12:30
Licensing and Other Concerns for Retail Businesses, By-Law Enforcement and Compliance
Moderator: Sara Dubinsky, Lawyer, Lidstone & Company
Iain Dixon, Lawyer, City of Vancouver
Tom Zworski, City Solicitor, Office of the City Solicitor, City of Victoria
  • Considerations of private retailers versus provincially operated stores
  • Enforcement against illegal storefronts authorities and approach
  • The need for cannabis-specific enforcement authorities
  • Considerations around places of use
  • How municipalities handle complaints about:
    • Proximity of cannabis stores
    • Impact on the neighbourhood
    • Use of cannabis in apartments
    • Use of cannabis in proximity to children
12:30 - 1:30        Luncheon Break
1:30 - 2:30
What Municipalities Need to Know About Production and Distribution: From Seed to Sale
  • Understanding the supply chain
  • Existing production and distribution of medical marijuana
  • The path for recreational use
  • Applications for licensing
  • Regulating quality
  • Security issues: Are we overregulating?
  • Number of licensed growers and distributors
  • Implications for local governments
2:30 - 2:45        Networking Break
2:45 - 4:00
Case Study
Lessons Learned and Experience in Legalization in Seattle
David B. Mendoza, Practice Director, Regulatory Compliance, Government Affairs & Public Relations, Calyx King Consulting
  • Need for public health approach and communication strategy
  • Enforcing regulations
  • Impaired driving issues
  • Mitigating impact on livability and public safety
  • Safeguards for security of the industry
  • Responding to community concerns and complaints
  • Regulatory zoning and licensing issues
  • Pricing: impact on the black market
  • Impact on municipal budget
  • Fixing problems along the way and lessons learned
4:00        End of Day One
[   Register  |  Speakers  |  Venue  |  Agenda (PDF)   ]



Legalization of cannabis is just months away. Municipalities are responsible for a smooth roll-out to the public, with significant work to be accomplished. If you work on land use planning and zoning, business licensing, municipal workplace safety, enforcement relating to public consumption or impaired driving, you are feeling the pressure of the looming deadline. You have important questions and you need answers from the provinces yesterday relating to critical matters such as what retail model your province will choose. You need to budget for start up and implementation in all these areas including the cost of public education, public health and law enforcement.

INFONEX's two-day program Municipal Issues in the Legalization of Cannabis, will be the ideal forum for discussing and sharing ideas with others to help you move forward without wasting time or spinning your wheels. A faculty of experienced government officials from all the relevant areas will share their insights on what's working effectively and what's not. U.S cities who have made the journey you are about to embark upon will draw on their experience to help you benefit from what they have learned along the way so you can avoid potential missteps and proceed in timely fashion.

You will learn what you can expect with legalization, including the impact on community and public health and safety. You will leave with a clear picture of what you are required to do, as a municipal employer, to keep municipal employees safe now that you have to worry about the potential effects of marijuana at the workplace. Experts from U.S. cities and large and small municipalities in a variety of provinces will explain how they are dealing with land use planning and zoning and business licensing (including government-run, private retail or a mixed retail model depending on the province's choice.) You will understand the enforcement issues relating to consumption and impaired driving and the complexity and potential problems involved in the supply chain.

This is a unique opportunity to hear from those most able to provide the important information, insights and strategies you need to meet the complex challenge ahead. Register now so you and your municipality have the necessary knowledge to reduce the risk and increase the potential benefits of this important change in national cannabis policy. Your up-front investment of time will repay you time and again as you move forward more decisively, confidently and knowledgeably than you otherwise would have. Register today!

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