Cannabis enforcement

Keeping the criminal element out of the legal cannabis regime and ensuring legal operators comply with regulations are shared provincial and federal priorities.

Illegal cannabis retailers: Community Safety Unit

B.C.’s Community Safety Unit (CSU), under the Policing and Security Branch of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General carries out compliance and enforcement activities related to the illegal sale of cannabis.

The Community Safety Unit can undertake a range of enforcement activities, including conducting inspections, issuing violation tickets, obtaining warrants and issuing demands for information, summoning witnesses, conducting hearings, seizing cannabis, and issuing administrative monetary penalties. The CSU can also recommend the prosecution of offences under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

Submit a complaint to the CSU:

The CSU may investigate complaints from the public, government departments, or industry about matters related to its mandate.

For information on submitting a complaint, visit the CSU website.

Licensed cannabis retailers: The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) is responsible for ensuring non-medical cannabis licensees comply with the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, Cannabis Licensing Regulation and the terms and conditions of their licence, authorization, or permit. While the goal is to minimize contraventions through education and voluntary compliance, enforcement action may be necessary when there is a serious contravention or repeated contraventions of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, its regulations and/or with the terms and conditions of a licence.

It is important for the branch to take action against non-compliance to minimize public safety risks and protect community standards. To learn more or make a complaint, visit the LCRB's enforcement web pages.

Licensed producers, processors and authorized producers: Health Canada

Generally, there are three kinds of cannabis producers authorized by Health Canada:

  1. Those who hold a federal licence for commercial production
  2. Individuals authorized to produce medical cannabis for their own personal use, and
  3. Individuals authorized to produce cannabis for another medical user

Health Canada receives cannabis-related reports from consumers, health professionals, industry and the general public as it relates to its area of responsibility. For concerns and complaints that might represent a possible violation of the federal cannabis laws or regulations, individuals may contact Health Canada’s Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Branch (CLRB) through the Cannabis Reporting Form.

Examples of concerns include:

  • Product labelling (for example, missing mandatory health warning message)
  • Product packaging (for example, shape that may be appealing to youth)
  • Promotions (for example, cannabis radio commercial)
  • Product quality (for example, mould, mite, powdery mildew, pesticides)
  • Cannabis production site (for example, security concerns, odour)
  • Cannabis accessories (for example, injury caused by malfunction)

For further details and clarification about cannabis related questions and concerns please visit Health Canada.