Administrative Hearing Process

Notice of Administrative Monetary Penalty

The Director of the Community Safety Unit (CSU) may issue a Notice of Administrative Monetary Penalty to those who have sold or produced cannabis without a licence. The Notice of Administrative Monetary Penalty will include information on the alleged contravention(s), the amount of monetary penalty, and the option to sign a waiver. The administrative monetary penalty is equal to two times the retail value of the cannabis sold, produced, or possessed for the purpose of sale.

Waiver

When you receive a Notice of Administrative Monetary Penalty, you may submit a signed Community Safety Unit Waiver. Signing a waiver means that you:

  • agree that you committed the contravention
  • agree to pay the actual value of the cannabis sold, produced or possessed for the purpose of sale
  • waive the opportunity for an administrative hearing on the matter

If a Notice of Administrative Monetary Penalty contains more than one alleged contravention, you may sign a waiver for one of the contraventions and dispute the others at a hearing.

If you decide to sign a waiver, it must be submitted to the CSU within 30 days of the date that you received the Notice of Administrative Monetary Penalty.

Once the waiver is signed, you will be provided a concession order that includes the reasons for imposing the monetary penalty, the amount of the monetary penalty and the date by which the penalty must be paid.   

Application for Administrative Hearing

If you do not want to sign a waiver, and you want to challenge the administrative penalty by participating in the process, the signed Application for Administrative Hearing must be submitted to the CSU within 30 days of the date that you received the Notice of Administrative Monetary Penalty. The hearings are generally conducted by way of written submission; however, you have the opportunity to request an oral hearing when you submit the application form. You will be provided with a package of CSU’s disclosable evidence once the CSU receives a signed Application for Administrative Hearing. You will also be provided with a deadline by which you need to send in your evidence to the CSU. Generally, the CSU will not accept any evidence received after the evidentiary submission deadline. If you need to reschedule the evidentiary submission deadline, please contact the CSU immediately.

Timelines

A signed waiver or signed Application for Administrative Hearing must be received by the CSU within 30 days of the date that you received the Notice of Administrative Monetary Penalty. If the CSU does not receive either a signed waiver or a signed Application of Administrative Hearing within 30 days of the date that you received the Notice of Administrative Monetary Penalty, the CSU will proceed with reviewing the matter and may proceed with imposing the monetary penalty.

Authorization for Representation

If you would like to be represented during the administrative hearing process, you must provide written authorization to allow the CSU to share information with your chosen representative. To do this, complete an Authorization for Representation.

Administrative Hearings

Administrative hearings will generally occur by written submissions. Through written submission, you may assert that the alleged contravention(s) did not occur, did not occur as alleged, or that some, or all, of the monetary penalty is not warranted. An Administrative Hearing Officer will consider the information that you provide, and review all of the material on file. The Administrative Hearing Officer, on behalf of the Director, will issue a written decision after they have concluded their review.

The Compliance Order

Following the Administrative Hearing Officer’s decision, the Director of the CSU will issue a Compliance Order. The Compliance Order will include the reasons for imposing the monetary penalty, the amount of the monetary penalty and the date by which the penalty must be paid, and the option of applying for reconsideration of the decision.

The monetary penalty on the Compliance Order must be paid within 30 days regardless of whether you apply for reconsideration of the decision.

Reconsideration

Within 30 days of receiving the Compliance Order, you may apply for reconsideration. The Director may extend the deadline if special circumstances prevented you from meeting the deadline and an injustice would result if the extension was not granted.

In order to apply for reconsideration, you must submit an Application for Reconsideration, a $500 application fee and a written submission identifying how you meet one or more of the grounds for reconsideration. Certified cheques or money orders for the $500 application fee should be made out to the Minister of Finance and mailed to:

Community Safety Unit
PO Box 9060
Stn Main
Surrey BC V3T 0N4

The $500 application fee will only be refunded if the Compliance Order is rescinded in the Reconsideration Order.  

The grounds for reconsideration are:

  • there is substantial and material evidence that is new or was not discovered or discoverable at the time of the original hearing;
  • there was an error of law, other than a constitutional error of law; or
  • there was a failure to observe the rules of procedural fairness.

These are the only reasons that a decision may be reconsidered. Reconsideration is not an opportunity to re-argue the case.  If these grounds do not exist, the Director must reject the application.

The Director will provide you with notice whether the reconsideration application has been accepted or rejected.

If an application for reconsideration is rejected, a letter will be sent to explain the reason for rejecting the application and confirming the monetary penalty.

If an application for reconsideration is accepted, the Director of the CSU will delegate reconsideration decisions to an Administrative Hearing Officer, who will either confirm, vary or rescind the original Compliance Order. Once a decision is reached, the Reconsideration Order will be sent to you. The Reconsideration Order will include the reasons for the decision, and if it confirms or varies the monetary penalty, will set out the amount of the penalty and the date by which it must be paid.

Judicial Review

You may apply for judicial review within 30 days of receiving the Director’s decision (eg. Reconsideration Order) pursuant to the Judicial Review Procedure Act.