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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.

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.
  • Cafés and our lounges are not being legalized at this time.

What the Municipality is doing:

We have conducted considerable research on best practices from lessons learned in the United States from where recreational cannabis has been legalized and will incorporate this research into any proposed Bylaw changes for Council’s consideration.

The Municipality is also part of a provincial cannabis legalization roundtable comprised of a number of larger cities, municipalities, towns and counties across Alberta. We have regular dialogue with these municipalities and our provincial partners and will continue to do so as cannabis legalization takes effect in the months ahead. We are seeking feedback from residents and stakeholders with an online survey and at in-person public engagement sessions and stakeholder meetings.

Our goal is to have any proposed Bylaw changes in place before cannabis is legalized. This means we plan on presenting proposed Bylaw changes to Council beginning in May and into June, 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.