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. More details on how to apply for the permit and register your home will be provided soon.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Apply for your AGLC retail cannabis licence. Application processing time will take approximately two to four months and are subjected to AGLC review policies.
  3. 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.  

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Regulations for Chestermere

  1. Regulation Proposal Summary
  2. Sale & Production Regulation 
  3. Public Consumption Regulation
  4. Public Consultation 

Chestermere's Regulations (Approved October 15 by City Council)


Regulations summary


Click on the tabs above to explore more details about proposed Land Use and Consumption Regulations. 

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Background

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:

October 15:

  • 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. 

Read the agenda (and proposed bylaws) here under the 'Bylaw' section. 


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.

Survey Results

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.



Resources

Cannabis Facts 
Courtesy of Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission

Health Effects of Cannabis
Courtesy of the Government of Canada

Talking to your Teen About Cannabis
Courtesy of the Government of Canada

Courtesy of Drug Free Kids Canada

Courtesy of Parent Action Pack

Don’t Drive High Awareness Campaign
Courtesy of the Government of Canada

Help Lines 

  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
  • Addictions Help Line: 1-866-332-2322
  • Distress Line: 780-482-HELP (4357)
  • Family Violence Help Line: 310-1818
  • If you are in immediate danger: 9-1-1