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Cannabis legalization

The Federal Government has announced that full legalization of recreational cannabis will take place on October 17, 2018. Cannabis refers to products made from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. You may have also heard it called marijuana or pot.

Until then, it is only legal to use cannabis if you have a medical prescription. Please note that only fresh and dried cannabis and cannabis oil is being legalized at this time. Edible cannabis products are not being legalized by the Federal Government.

Current status:

Our approach to legalization is aligned with federal and provincial laws and regulations. Bill C-45 (Cannabis Act), the Federal Government’s legislation that legalizes and regulates recreational cannabis has been passed into law and takes full effect on October 17, 2018.

Our recommendations are based on best practice research, collaboration with other municipalities in Alberta and Canada, meetings and dialogue with various stakeholders and information gathered from residents from an online survey and at the 13 public engagement sessions held across the region from Feb. 20 to May 23, 2018.

At a municipal level, we have made changes to the Land Use Bylaw and License Bylaw and have approved a new Smoking and Vaping Bylaw. These bylaws were all approved by Council meeting on July 9, 2018.

Most notably, recreational cannabis consumption will not be allowed in public, much like with how alcohol consumption is treated. There have been no changes to the rules surrounding tobacco consumption as a result of these bylaw changes.

Visit the Council agenda package and live video feed from the July 9 meeting here to learn more about these bylaws.

Please note we will begin accepting development permit applications for cannabis retail stores and/or cannabis production and distribution facilities on Monday, August 20. Should all conditions be met and approved, provisional business licenses may be granted to prospective business owners/operators. The provisional licence would indicate that no sale of recreational cannabis will be permitted until October 17, 2018, when recreational cannabis is legalized in Canada.

For more information, please take a look at one of the tabs on the left hand side of this page. You can also contact PULSE at 780.743.7000 or pulse@rmwb.ca.