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Cannabis: What you need to know

Recreational cannabis remains illegal in Canada. That said, the Municipality is preparing for cannabis legalization should it take place in the summer of 2018 as indicated by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government has established:

  • A goal of legalizing recreational cannabis in summer, 2018.
  • A minimum age of 18 to consume and possess cannabis.
  • Edible cannabis products 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.

Please note the Federal Government may amend these regulations in advance of full legalization taking place.

The Alberta Government has established:

  • If you are 18 years of age or older you can consume, possess and purchase 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 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 and our lounges are not being legalized at this time.

What the Municipality is doing:

The Municipality is aligned with current proposed federal and provincial laws and regulations and is bringing forward proposed changes to Council on the Land Use Bylaw, Smoking Bylaw and Business License Bylaw. First reading of these proposed bylaw changes is expected to take place on June 12, 2018 at a public Council meeting. Should the proposed bylaw changes pass first reading, a public hearing would be then scheduled in the weeks following first reading.

The Municipality’s recommendations are based on best practice research, collaboration with other municipalities in Alberta, meetings 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.

Please note we are not currently finalizing any business licence applications or development permits for cannabis retail stores and/or cannabis production and distribution facilities. Selling and producing cannabis for non-medical purposes is still illegal 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.