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Cannabis: What you need to know

Recreational cannabis remains illegal in Canada until October 17, 2018.

The Federal Government has established:

  • Recreational cannabis will be legalized on October 17, 2018.
  • A minimum age of 18 to consume and possess cannabis.
  • Edible cannabis products and cannabis cafés/lounges are not being legalized at this time.
  • Adults (18 years of age and older) can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis at one time.
  • Adults can possess up to four cannabis plants per household. Provinces have the option to ban household cannabis plants.

The Alberta Government has established:

  • If you are 18 years of age or older you can consume, possess and purchase recreational cannabis in Alberta.
  • Cannabis retail stores can sell cannabis and cannabis-related products only, including cannabis oil.
  • There is a minimum 100 metre distance a cannabis retail store can be from a school or a provincial health care facility. Municipalities may choose to have further distance requirements.
  • Cannabis production and distribution facilities are allowed in Alberta.
  • Cannabis in Alberta will be regulated by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC), including the business licence process (same as with alcohol).
  • There will be online cannabis sales in Alberta. This will also be managed and regulated through AGLC and its website.
  • Public consumption of cannabis will be up to municipalities in Alberta. At a minimum, public consumption of cannabis will be restricted like tobacco. Municipalities may choose to have further restrictions on public consumption, including an outright ban on public consumption. This would be similar to how alcohol is treated in Alberta.
  • Cannabis cafés/lounges are not being legalized at this time.

What the Municipality has established:

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 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.