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 Government of Canada’s plans to legalize cannabis (expected in July 2018) will allow cannabis to be used for recreational purposes.
Cannabis will be legal across Canada on October 17, 2018. There will be new federal, provincial and municipal processes for cannabis production, sale and consumption.
The legalization of cannabis will have many impacts. The Town of Blackfalds 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.
The legalization of cannabis for recreational use will affect municipalities in a number of areas, including land use management, business licensing, bylaws, public health and education, law enforcement, as well as the social context and human resource policies. Our Municipality will be impacted in many or all of these areas.
What is Blackfalds doing?
With the potential of the Cannabis Federal Regulations being passed this fall, the Town of Blackfalds is working on updating its bylaws to accommodate this upcoming change that will assist the Town in regulating Cannabis stores and use in accordance with the Federal, Provincial and Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Regulation.
The new and amended legislation will directly affect the Town of Blackfalds in three key areas:
Land Use / Development
Social and Human Services
Council established a Community Cannabis Advisory Committee (CCAC) to assist through the various aspects and needs of implementation and monitoring. The objective of this committee will be to draft a Terms of Reference and then determine a strategy that allows us to utilize our resources effectively to ensure that our Community is adequately prepared for enactment of the legislation.
Town of Blackfalds role
The federal and provincial governments are determining the roles and responsibilities of municipalities in cannabis legalization. While the legalization of cannabis is a federal decision, provinces and municipalities each have areas of responsibility.
Municipalities, including the Town of Blackfalds, 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. The Town may need to create or change various services, policies and bylaws to accommodate legalization.
In the process of investigating how to best manage the legalization of cannabis in the best interests of our community, we will look at key elements as we work through our sub-committees and advisory recommendations.
Sharing information will be an important part of this process, including community dialogue.
- Gather information, including understanding how Alberta’s framework will be applied at the municipal level.
- Draft a community-wide-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).
- Review bylaws that will need to be amended to accommodate the legalization of cannabis.
The Town of Blackfalds is exploring its role in:
- Monitoring cannabis use in public
- Educating the public on legal cannabis use
Recommendations are expected to be brought to Council November of 2018 on the Town’s approach to retail sales production, distribution, public consumption of cannabis. In the meantime, the Town will not be taking any cannabis related applications until these recommendations are adopted.
For information about the regulation and applications for cannabis distribution, visit www.aglc.ca/cannabis
Other Related links
For more information about this committee, its sub-committees or if you have questions or concerns regarding cannabis legislation, please contact our Planning and Development department at 403.885.4677