Cannabis Legalization in Chestermere
Recreational use of cannabis, as per federal law, became legal in Canada on October 17.
Chestermere’s cannabis regulations include:
- A ban on consumption in public places. Cannabis may only be used in one’s private home or on private property. There is a consumption ban in all public places. A maximum penalty of $10,000 is included in the bylaw.
- Allowing for the sale of cannabis. The sale of cannabis is only permitted by provincially licensed retailers, and the commercially zoned retail locations have restrictions. These restrictions include setbacks from sensitive uses (schools, child care facilities, the Skate Park, Bike Park, etc.) and regulating the hours of operation.
- Growing cannabis at home. The federal law allows for residents to grow their own cannabis from government provided seeds. There is a four plant maximum. Any Chestermere resident wishing to grow their own cannabis as per the federal law must also obtain a Chestermere municipal permit and register their home as residential cannabis cultivation site. Take a look at the 'Cultivation Consultation' info box for more information.
While Federal regulations allow homeowners to grow up to 4 cannabis plants, provinces and municipalities can put additional restrictions around those laws. For example, the Province of Manitoba and Rocky View County are not allowing residential cannabis growing at all.
The City conducted a survey on this topic in November. You can read the results on page 3 here. However, with only 255 responses, it is uncertain if the results can accurately reflect the opinions of the 20,000 residents of Chestermere.
December 4 Update:
After extensive debate, Council passed 1st reading of the cannabis cultivation bylaw on December 4.
The purpose of the bylaw is to provide a licensed and structured program to assist with the regulation of cannabis growth in residences in the areas of home safety, protection for minors and to promote healthy cultivation.
Notes about the proposed bylaw:
The City is accepting feedback prior to 2nd and 3rd reading. Email email@example.com or City Council members to provide your feedback.
Note for potential retailers:
The City of Chestermere has new regulations for businesses wishing to open a retail store.
Here are the steps we recommend you take:
- Review the locations map. A retail location must be 150m away from schools sites and provincial health facilities and 50m away from public libraries, skateboard park, bike park, and other cannabis retail stores.
- Apply for your AGLC retail cannabis licence. Application processing time will take approximately two to four months and are subjected to AGLC review policies.
- Complete the Chestermere cannabis retail and production application package. AGLC approval must be completed prior to City application.
Questions? Call the Development Team at 403-207-7075.
Regulations for Chestermere
- Regulation Proposal Summary
- Sale & Production Regulation
- Public Consumption Regulation
- Public Consultation
Chestermere's Regulations (Approved October 15 by City Council)
Click on the tabs above to explore more details about proposed Land Use and Consumption Regulations.
Local Regulations for Retail Stores include:
- Cannabis Retail Stores must be located 150m away from schools sites and provincial health facilities and 50m away from public libraries, skateboard park, bike park, and other cannabis retail stores.
- Cannabis Retail Stores may only be located in commercial zoning as a Discretionary Use, meaning the public and adjacent landowners will be notified of their proposed development.
- Cannabis Retail Stores can only operate between 10pm and 2am.
- Signage for Cannabis Retail Stores must be in good taste and not promote intoxication, be associated with medicine, or appeal to minors.
Read the Full Bylaw and Regulations here. To apply for a Cannabis Retail Store Permit, please contact Planning & Development at 403-207-7076.
- Cannabis Retail Stores and Production Facilities are proposed as Discretionary Uses and only allowed in Commercial or Industrial land use zones
- Cannabis Retail Stores are governed by the Alberta Liquor & Gaming Commission (AGLC)
- Cannabis Production is governed by Health Canada
- Cannabis can only be sold by AGLC sanctioned retail stores
City Council passed amendments to the Land Use bylaw that allows for recreational cannabis to be sold and produced in specific areas. Council passed 1st reading of this bylaw on August 13, 2018 (read the minutes here). A Public Hearing was held on September 18. 2nd and 3rd readings were passed on October 15, 2018.
On October 15, City Council passed Bylaw 017-18 (Cannabis Consumption Bylaw) that prohibits recreational use cannabis being consumed in our community.
Thank you to everyone who gave their feedback about cannabis consumption in Chestermere.
Provincial and Federal Regulations
- The minimum age for purchase and consumption in Alberta is 18 years old.
- Consuming cannabis in a vehicle is illegal.
- Driving high is illegal.
- Cannabis can’t be within reach of anyone in a vehicle.
- 30 grams of cannabis is the most you can buy or carry at a time.
- Only four plants can be grown per household.
- Cannabis can only be purchased from licensed stores or albertacannabis.org.
- Kids are not allowed to enter cannabis stores, even with an adult.
- Edibles are not yet legal to sell.
A bylaw to manage public consumption of recreational use cannabis in Chestermere was drafted and received 1st reading from City Council on October 1.
Council asked for feedback using a 1 question survey. 276 people took the survey and 67% said they believe cannabis should not be allowed to be consumed in public places. Read the full results of the survey here.
We formally asked for public opinion through the following methods:
Here is the summary of results from the survey that were instrumental in creating the legislation.
Overall, do you think the rules for consuming cannabis should be:
- 40.61% Like the rules for consuming alcohol (not allowed in public places)
- 22.50% Like the rules for smoking (in designated areas and certain distances from building)
- 33.92% A combination of the rules for alcohol and smoking
- 2.96% Other
Please indicate the places you would be comfortable with cannabis being consumed if approved through legislation:
- 32.12% At a public festival or concert (e.g. Water Festival)
- 20.35% At the beaches at Anniversary Park or Cove Park
- 20.46% In any outdoor public space
- 78.66% In a private back yard
- 65.46% In a private front yard/balcony
- 17.71% In a public park
- 24.86% Near Chestermere Lake
- 33.55% On Chestermere Lake (providing they are not driving a boat)
- 18.15% On a restaurant, bar, or patio
- 21.12% On a public sidewalk or pathway
1 Question Survey (Open September 25 - October 11)
Do you believe recreational cannabis should be allowed to be consumed in public spaces in Chestermere?
- 23.55% Yes
- 67.03% No
- 9.42% Other
Sales & Production (Land Use) Feedback:
Do you believe cannabis should be sold in Chestermere?
- 67.17% of respondents indicated “yes”
- 25.88% of respondents indicated “no”
Would you be comfortable with a Cannabis Production Facility in a light industrial area?
- 69.49% of respondents indicated “yes”
- 26.12% of respondents indicated “no”
Where would you be comfortable with cannabis being sold?
- 62.39% indicated “any commercial or industrial area”
- 9.72% indicated “only in industrial areas”
- 24.89% indicated “not comfortable with it being sold in Chestermere”
Do you believe the public should be notified prior to the City issuing a Cannabis Retail Store permit?
- 61.39% indicated “yes”
- 36.36% indicated “no”
Do you support placing minimum distance restrictions on how far Cannabis Retail Stores can be from the following locations:
- 34.99% indicated Chestermere Lake
- 65.87% indicated child care facilities
- 16.74% indicated liquor stores
- 25.27% indicated other Cannabis Retail Stores
- 65.35% indicated school sites
Last year, a bill to legalize recreational cannabis by was introduced by the Government of Canada. Each level of government has different responsibilities that pertain to the legalization.
Municipalities (like the City of Chestermere) will have the authority to make decisions about retail locations and rules for businesses, rules for public consumption, enforcement of regulations for legalized recreational cannabis, education of citizens for legalized recreational cannabis, and consideration for appropriate land uses and zoning locations.
Over the past several months, the City of Chestermere amended its bylaws and policies to prepare for the nationwide legalization of recreational cannabis.
Latest Regulation Development Process Updates:
- The City asks for public feedback about the proposed Cannabis Cultivation Bylaw. Take the survey here.
- Council passed Bylaw 017-18 that prohibits all consumption of recreational cannabis in public places. Read the bylaw here.
- Council passed amendments to the Land Use Bylaw to allow for the sale of cannabis in some commercial areas subject to certain restrictions. More details will be provided soon.
October 13, 2018: Council Meeting
At the October 15 Council Meeting, Administration will present:
- 2nd and 3rd reading of the Land Use Bylaw amendments that would allow cannabis to be sold in Chestermere outside of a 150m buffer from provincial health care facilities and schools and 50m from child care facilities, the public library, other cannabis retail stores, the bike park and skatepark.
- 2nd and 3rd reading of the Cannabis Consumption Bylaw that would prohibit recreational use cannabis from being consumed in public spaces.
Watch for the agenda at www.chestermere.ca/agendas on the Thursday prior to the meeting.
October 1, 2018: Council Meeting
Council passed 1st reading of a 'Cannabis Consumption Bylaw' that would prohibit recreational cannabis consumption in public places. A poll is open for your input on this question. 2nd and 3rd reading will be brought back on October 15.
Council also passed amendments to the Smoking Bylaw to include cannabis.
September 18, 2018: Public Hearing
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 – Public Hearing on Cannabis Land Use Bylaw Amendments at City Hall (Council Chambers, City Hall 5pm). Read the Agenda here.
September 8, 2018: Open House
Saturday, September 8, 2018 – City of Chestermere Open House on Cannabis Land Use Bylaw Amendments at the Chestermere County Fair Indoor Market 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. located at the Rec Centre.
August 2018: 1st Reading of Land Use Bylaw Amendments
Staff recommend Land Use Bylaw changes for legalized cannabis-related development.
Read the Request for Bylaw Reading here (starts on page 58)
July 2018: Council Update
Staff provided Council with an update on the process of the Land Use Amendment being drafted.
Read the report here.
June 2018: Council Update
Staff provided Council with an update on the process of the policy being drafted. Read the report here (starts on page 85).
The Federal Government has announced that legalization will occur on October 17, 2018.
April 2018 Public Engagement
As the City begins to look at options for regulations in Chestermere, is important to understand the community's views on the issue. To understand what residents think, an online survey was conducted between April 16 - 30. 958 people participated and the results are below.
Above are the summary results. Results with comments provided are available here.
February 5, 2018: City of Chestermere Council approved a report on the two stage plan for exploring cannabis regulation in Chestermere. On April 16, the City launched a survey to learn from residents about how they feel about cannabis legalization in Chestermere. The survey is open until April 30.
November 2017: The Province of Alberta introduced provincial regulations through the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission (AGLC). They have outlined minimum age, sales, consumption, packaging and law enforcement. Learn more about the regulations in Alberta here.
April 2017: In April 2017, the Federal Government introduced a bill (The Cannabis Act) to legalize recreational cannabis. Learn more about the federal government’s regulations here.
Health Effects of Cannabis
Talking to your Teen About Cannabis
Courtesy of Drug Free Kids Canada
Courtesy of Parent Action Pack
Don’t Drive High Awareness Campaign