The Government of Canada has introduced legislation to legalize, regulate, and restrict access to cannabis effective October 17,2018.
Provincial governments across Canada will be responsible for deciding how cannabis will be distributed and sold within their provincial boundaries. The Government of Alberta has indicated that municipalities across the province will have a role in developing policies and regulations for cannabis that are within their control and responsibility, such as land use regulations around retail sales and use in public places, such as parks and streets. Learn more from the Alberta Government, or download the pdf fact sheet (147 KB) .
The Town of Canmore sought feedback to help inform changes and updates to affected bylaws, and input on developing any new bylaws or policies to respond to the legalization of recreational cannabis.
1. We are still determining how public consumption of cannabis will be regulated in Canmore. Regulating public consumption outside of the provincial regulations (see Background section below) would require an update to Canmmore's Smoking Control Bylaw. This topic may come before council for direction at the August 14 Committee of the Whole meeting (date TBD).
2. Bylaw 2018-03 passed final reading on June 5, 2018 which sets out the hours of the stores and locations where cannabis retail stores may be allowed. A public hearing was held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. A total of five people spoke at the hearing, and four written submissions (two from people who spoke at the public hearing) were received regarding the locations where cannabis retail stores may be allowed. You can read a copy of the bylaw here: pdf LUB Amendment Cannabis Retail Store 2018 03 (1.67 MB) .
This map shows all commercial districts where liquor stores are allowed, and where it has been approved that cannabis retail stores could be permitted (subject to development permit approved by the Town and the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission). Click on the map for a larger version.
Contact the Town of Canmore’s Planning Department for more information at:
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has indicated there will be a 100 metre buffer (roughly a city block) between provincial health care facilities, schools and municipal school reserves. Municipalities will have the ability to reduce or increase the buffer should they decide it will better serve their community. The map below shows areas in red which indicates a 100m radius from schools and the hospital in Canmore.
In the fall of 2017, the provincial government passed Bill 26: An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis. The Bill is awaiting proclamation by the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General to become law. There is no set timeline for this to occur. This bill provides authority for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) to carry out oversight and compliance functions as well as manage the distribution of cannabis. It also establishes the authority to carry out public online sales, and to license privately owned and operated cannabis stores with strong oversight and province-wide rules. Lastly, it establishes provincial offences related to youth possession, public consumption, and consumption of cannabis in vehicles.
The provincial government will set the minimum age for purchase and consumption of cannabis at 18. Cannabis products will be available for purchase from retailers that will receive their products from a government-regulated distributor with a distribution system similar to the system Alberta currently has in place for alcohol. All physical retail locations will have strict government oversight through licensing by the AGLC. The AGLC will be able to set terms and conditions on licenses, as well as inspect licensees and address any violations. Licensed retail establishments will be the only stores that can sell cannabis, and will not be able to sell cannabis if they sell alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals. The AGLC's details on licensing and establishing a cannabis retail operation can be found here.
Albertans will be allowed to consume cannabis in their homes and in some public spaces where smoking tobacco is allowed, but use will be banned in cars. In an effort to protect children and limit second-hand exposure, public smoking or vaping of cannabis in Alberta will be prohibited from any place where tobacco is restricted (such as stores, restaurants, recreation centres, transit shelters) as well as in the following places:
- on any hospital property, school property or child care facility property
- sports or playing field
- skateboard or bicycle park
- outdoor theatre
- outdoor pool or splash pad
- in cannabis retail outlets
The AGLC will provide strict government oversight through licensing and the provincial government will establish rules that guide hours of operation and location of stores (for example, the minimum distance retail outlets must be from schools, community centres, liquor stores and each other), age of staff and training, and controlling initial growth in the number of outlets. Though cannabis cafes and lounges will not be permitted on Oct. 17, 2018, the legislation also gives the authority to regulate these forms of establishments should government decide to allow them at a later date.
While Bill 26 proposes to prohibit smoking cannabis in any place where tobacco is restricted by provincial law, as well as a list of many other places where children might be present, municipalities may expand on the list of restricted locations. Canmore currently has a Smoking Control Bylaw which would likely apply to the smoking of cannabis. Canmore’s bylaw reads “No person shall smoke in a Hotel.” There may be an opportunity to update Canmore’s smoking bylaw with additional restricted locations, if required, as well as making it explicit that the bylaw applies to cannabis as well as vaping.
While it may be too early in the process for the Solicitor General’s office to officially comment on a direction for enforcement, it is likely that Canmore’s Community Peace Officers will not have authority to enforce laws related to consumption and use of cannabis. If this is the case, enforcement will default to the RCMP.
The Town of Canmore collaborated with Cannabis Let’s Talk Alberta to provide community conversation sessions with stakeholders. We know that the legalization of cannabis has the potential to bring up issues within the community. To be clear, the intent of these sessions is to create community dialogue and NOT to gather input from the community to inform bylaw updates. These sessions were funded by Health Canada, and CLTA is focused on community dialogue and supportive approaches to health and well-being.