Councillors discuss retail cannabis rules

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Business people wanting to open a retail cannabis outlet in the Town of Barrhead are one step closer to knowing what the municipality’s requirements for opening a cannabis retail outlet.

Councillors reviewed the content of a new land-use bylaw which will spell out the details shops will have to conform to during an Aug. 14 in camera meeting.

“It now will go to our municipal planning commission who will give their recommendations before it officially comes before council for first reading,” mayor Dave McKenzie said.

Councillors will then most likely pass it in order to allow the public to comment on it through a public hearing.

“Basically it lays out where dispensaries can be located and it kind of follows the provincial guidelines,” he said.

In October, the Alberta government released its Cannabis Framework, which outlines the rules of who will be able to buy and use cannabis once it is legal, where they will be able to buy it and where they will be allowed to use it.

Among the restrictions are that retail outlets can only sell to those 18 years plus, and that there needs to be at least a 100-metre buffer between cannabis retailers and schools and provincial healthcare facilities.

“Now that isn’t the consumption of cannabis, that is just where the retailers can be located. The use bylaw is still being drafted,” McKenzie said, adding in large part, the use bylaw will follow the province’s lead. “We don’t know what they will be doing in those regards, but all indications we have had at this point is that it [cannabis use regulations]be somewhere between the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act and the Gaming and Liquor Act. Liquor, tobacco, and cannabis are all restricted products and I can see that the rules regarding cannabis would be something blended from the other two.”

Land-use bylaw

Councillors unanimously gave first reading to Bylaw 07-2018 and set a public hearing date for Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers. The bylaw, if passed, will allow the applicant, David Peters acting on behalf of Pearl Modise from Edmonton, to rezone a lot on 48 Street near 50th Avenue from R1-Residential to R2-Residential to allow the owner to create a secondary basement suite.

Time extension

Alberta Municipal Affairs is granting an extension for municipalities to have their Intermunicipal Collaborative Framework (ICF) agreements completed. The new deadline is April 2021.

As part of the changes made to the Municipal Government Act (MGA), the provincial government made it mandatory that all municipalities come to ICF agreements with every jurisdiction on its border on issues ranging from shared water and sewage to joint land-use planning. Originally municipalities were given two years starting in April 2018 to come up with the agreements.

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