Gateway Gazette

Turner Valley Cannabis Survey

The Town of Turner Valley is preparing for the future legalization of recreational cannabis. Residents are asked to complete the Recreational Cannabis Survey to help support the revision and/or development of additional municipal bylaws, procedures and policies to regulate and enforce use and distribution within Turner Valley.

Municipal Cannabis Strategy

Working Toward the Legalization of Recreational Cannabis

The federal government has introduced legislation to legalize cannabis. It is expected that by September 2018 cannabis will be legalized across the country. There will be new federal, provincial and municipal processes for cannabis production, sale and consumption. For more information, please see the Government of Canada’s Introduction of the Cannabis Act FAQs.

The legalization of cannabis will have many impacts. The Town of Turner Valley is reviewing federal and provincial direction and legislation as it becomes available, to help manage the legalization of cannabis in the best interest of our community. For more information, please see the Government of Alberta’s infographic the Future of Cannabis in Alberta.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis refers to products made from the leaves, flowers and resins of the cannabis plant. Other names for cannabis include marijuana or pot. Cannabis users smoke, vaporize or add cannabis to food or drinks.

Today, it is only legal to use cannabis with a medical prescription. The federal government plans to legalize cannabis will allow cannabis to be used for recreational purposes.  Selling cannabis for non-medical purposes is still illegal.

Project Stage

Administration is currently gathering information about cannabis legislation, including understanding how the provincial framework will be applied at the municipal level.

At the same time, administration has started work on preparing amendments to existing bylaws, policies and procedures that will be impacted by the legalization of cannabis. This may also result in new bylaws, policies and/or procedures.

Public Engagement

The legalization of cannabis is expected to have many impacts. Cannabis will become a part of Turner Valley’s economy and will be regulated through federal and provincial laws and in some town bylaws, and you may see it produced and/or sold in town.

It is important that part of the information gathering process includes public consultation. Over the next couple of months residents and business owners will be asked to provide their input into the legalization of cannabis.

  • The Town has prepared an online survey on cannabis legalization. Click here to complete the Recreational Cannabis Online Survey (insert link to survey).
  • Participation at public hearings later this summer in which amendments to bylaws will be presented to Council for consideration.
  • Speaking with you Town Council and sharing with them your thoughts and/or concerns.

Jurisdictional Responsibilities

Each level of government, federal, provincial and municipal, have different areas of responsibility when it comes to the legalization and enforcement of cannabis laws. More information on jurisdictional responsibility is available on the Alberta Government’s Cannabis Legalization in Canada page.

Turner Valley’s Role

The role of a municipality is to provide good government, foster the well-being of the environment, provide services and facilities desirable for all or part of the municipality, and development and maintain safe and viable communities within.

The federal and provincial governments are determining the roles and responsibilities of municipalities in cannabis legalization. The Town of Turner Valley is investigating how to best manage the legalization of cannabis in the best interests of our community while adhering to federal and provincial legislative requirements.

Municipalities, including the Town of Turner Valley, still require details and further clarification from the federal and provincial government, in areas such as public health and education, law enforcement, taxation revenue, distribution and facility access.

Give us your input by completing the online Recreational Cannabis Survey.

The Town of Turner Valley’s next steps include:

  • Gather information, including understanding how the Alberta Framework will be applied at the municipal level.
  • Determine which bylaws, policies and procedures require amendments to accommodate cannabis legalization including, but not limited to the Land Use Bylaw, the Business Licence Bylaw, the Noise and Nuisance Bylaw and the Community Standards Bylaw.
  • Determine which, if any, new bylaws, policies and/or procedures may be required.
  • Draft a Town-focused bylaw framework once the final draft federal and provincial legislation is in place to legalize recreational cannabis (including defining the level of control municipalities will have).

Recreational Cannabis – Retail Store Application

  • Details on licensing and establishing a retail cannabis operation are now available from the provincial government. Physical retail locations will be subject to provincial government regulations and the terms of licenses granted by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.
  • A municipal development permit is required before a company can be issued a provincial cannabis retail license. The Town of Turner Valley will be accepting retail cannabis permit applications once recreational cannabis has been legalized.
  • Later this summer Council will be presented with proposed amendments to the Land Use Bylaw to address and place land use regulations on retail cannabis outlets.
  • The process for applying for a retail cannabis outlet in the Town of Turner Valley will be the same as applying for other provincially regulated outlets such as liquor stores.

Medical Cannabis – Growing and Processing

  • All businesses must first obtain a development permit before operating in the Town of Turner Valley.
  • Applicants must apply to the federal government for a licence and receive all the necessary approvals to become a licensed producer for medical and non-medical purposes. Please see the Federal Government’s Proposed Requirements for Cultivation, Processing and Federal Sale Licences for more information.
  • As a discretionary use, the Development Authority will have the opportunity to consider if what is being proposed is compatible and an appropriate scale of development on a site by site basis as well as taking into consideration feedback from adjacent landowners.

Provincial role

The Government of Alberta has introduced legislation that proposes the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) will be responsible for the oversight of private retailers and distribution of cannabis in Alberta. For more information, please see the AGLC’s Cannabis page.

Federal role

The Government of Canada is responsible for cannabis production, sale, possession and medical cannabis regulations. Visit the Government of Canada’s Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis page for more information on the federal legalization and regulation of cannabis.

Purchasing Cannabis and Cannabis Retail Locations

Once federal legislation comes into effect, Albertans will have two options for purchasing recreational cannabis:

  • Privately run retail stores
  • Provincial government-operated online sales

For more information, please contact the Planning and Development Manager, Gerry Melenka.

Gerry Melenka
Planning and Development Manager

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