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The Town of Didsbury's Approach to Recreational Cannabis Legalization
 
The federal government introduced legislation to legalize recreational (non-medical) cannabis by 2018. The Town of Didsbury is now required to take steps to ensure its own bylaws, policies, procedures are aligned with the legislation being passed down. Doing so will ensure the legislation's successful integration process. The federal and provincial regulations are currently being put in place, and the Town of Didsbury is required to determine who, where, when and how cannabis will be possessed, sold and consumed within the Town. 
 

SURVEY RESULTS 

The Town of Didsbury wants to thank everyone who participated in the recreational cannabis survey. Through this process of public engagement, the Town of Didsbury received over 350 surveys to assist the Town to draft policies (see attachments below) associated to the Recreational Cannabis for the Town Land Use Bylaw. To date, the drafted policies have been posted below for public review. Residences of the Town of Didsbury are encouraged to provide their comments on these drafted policies in writing by September 1, 2018, to the Town Office. To authenticate that your comments will directly impact those living in Didsbury, please provide your name and address with your comments. 
 
Click the link below to view a copy of the proposed policies. 
 
The Town of Didsbury's next step will include a review of all comments received in consideration of the final draft of the Recreational Cannabis policies. The final draft of the policies will be presented to Council this Fall for adoption by Bylaw as rules and regulation of Recreational Cannabis in the Town of Didsbury. 
 
The results from the Recreational Cannabis Survey indicate a moderate split vote with Question #1. 
"What do you feel is an adequate minimum setback distance for Cannabis retail Sales to be located from a school, park, playground, daycare facility, or indoor sports facility?"

Click the links below to view the maps
(39%) 100M Setback 
(61%) 200M Setback

As the residents of Didsbury are split on this matter, Administration has prepared two maps (100M, 200M) representing the impacts on commercial areas where there is potential for opportunities for Cannabis Retail Sales. The Town is cautious about limiting business opportunities by regulating a 200M buffer: as an alternative, the policies present a 100M buffer from schools, playgrounds, and commercial areas where there is broader potential for Cannabis Retail Sales. 
 
The Town of Didsbury is proposing an amendment the LAND USE BYLAW (2013-03); PART 3 – GENERAL REGULATIONS, SECTION 19 - CANNABIS RELATED DEVELOPMENTS; whereas under the Discretionary Use, CANNABIS RETAIL SALES shall be restricted to GENERAL DISTRICT COMMERCIAL (C-1) & HIGHWAY DISTRICT COMMERCIAL (C-2). 
Cannabis Retail Sales shall be restricted to C1 and C2 Districts
 

 
 
Overview
Bill C-45 (the Cannabis Act) is currently being reviewed by the Senate of Canada. Bill C-45 is a piece of government legislation that would legalize access to cannabis in Canada. Bill C-45 would also control and regulate how cannabis is grown, distributed and sold. This Act is in respect to cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts. 
 
It was put forward that the current program for accessing cannabis for medical purposes would continue under the new Act, and that recreational cannabis would remain illegal until the proposed Cannabis Act was brought into force. 
 
The Alberta Government subsequently developed the Alberta Cannabis Framework, indicating how the province intends to achieve the following policy objectives: 
  1. Keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth. 
  2. Protecting the safety of roads, in workplaces and public spaces. 
  3. Protecting public health
  4. Limiting the illegal market for cannabis. 
The Alberta government passed Bill 26: An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis on November 30, 2017 "to empower elements of the framework through legalization, which are largely in the form of amendments to the Game and Liquor Act.  
 
The federal government has given municipalities the ability to alter rules and regulations to be more or less restrictive than those proposed by the federal and provincial governments. The roles and responsibilities of the legalization of cannabis by the Town of Didsbury include: 
  1. Education
  2. Taxation
  3. Cannabis Retail and Production locations and potential setbacks. 
  4. Consumption Areas
  5. Land Use Zoning
  6. Potential Hours of Operation
Through the process of public engagement, the Town of Didsbury will analyze the surveys to inform the process of amending the Town's Bylaw. 
 
The following links will provide more detail on the legislation of legalizing cannabis. 

 

 

PUBLIC NOTICE

TOWN OF DIDSBURY

RECREATIONAL CANNABIS - AMENDMENTS TO LAND USE BYLAW

The purpose of the amendments to the Land Use Bylaw 2013-03 is to incorporate Recreational Cannabis policies and designations in the Town of Didsbury.

DEFINITIONS TO BE ADDED TO THE LAND USE BYLAW WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

 

Indoor Recreational Facility - means a site of public lands where active recreation occurs within a permanent indoor

which includes - swimming pool, hockey arena and/or a curling rink.

Playground with Play Equipment - means a site of public lands where permanent active play equipment design for

children is located, which includes swings, slides and other play structures.

 

Sports Field - means a site of public lands where active recreation occurs with permanent outdoor sports fields and

permanent sports-related infrastructure.

 

Temporary Outdoor Event - means an organized activity that is temporary in nature and does not adversely impact adjacent land uses. Typical uses may include organized sporting events, community festivals, farmers markets and outdoor faith services. Temporary Outdoor Events may be authorized to serve food and alcohol for the event if granted

permission from the Development Authority. No area within the Temporary Outdoor Event shall be designated and authorized for the consumption of cannabis.

 

GENERAL REGULATIONS – CANNABIS RELATED DEVELOPMENT

1) Restricted Cannabis related development under;

a) the Cannabis Retail Sales, is restricted to Commercial District and Highway Commercial District.

b) the Cannabis Production Facilities is restricted to Direct Control Land Use District.

2) An application for a retail license deemed eligible by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission shall accompany an application for a development permit for Cannabis Retail Sales

 

3) CANNABIS RETAIL SALES

a) Must be aligned with the Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Act;

(105) (3) For the purposes of sections 640(7), 642(5) and 687(3) of the Municipal Government Act, a premises described in a cannabis licence may not have any part of an exterior wall that is locate within 100 metres of:

i) a provincial health care facility or a boundary of the parcel of land on which the facility is located,

ii) a building containing a school or a boundary of a parcel of land on which the building is located, or,

iii) a boundary of a parcel of land that is designated as school reserve or municipal and school reserve under the Municipal Government Act.

b) Any CANNABIS RETAIL SALES should not be located less than 100 metres as measured from the boundary of the parcel with an indoor recreational facility, sports field or a playground with play equipment.

 

c) The Municipal Planning Commission may reduce the separation distance less than 100metres from CANNABIS RETAIL SALES and an indoor recreational facility, sports field, or a playground with play equipment where it is clearly demonstrated by the applicant that there would be no adverse land use impacts on the existing uses.

 

 

4) CANNABIS PRODUCTION FACILITIES

d) Any CANNABIS PRODUCTION FACILITIES should not be located less than 200 metres measured from the closest point of the lot boundary of the CANNABIS PRODUCTION FACILITIES Use to the closest point of a residential or mixed used district boundary.

 

e) The Municipal Planning Commission may reduce the separation distance less than 200 metres from CANNABIS PRODUCTION FACILITIES Use and residential or mixed use districts where it is clearly demonstrated by the applicant that there would be no adverse land use impacts on a residential or mix use district.

Proposed under the Discretionary Use, CANNABIS RETAIL SALES shall be restricted to GENERAL DISTRICT COMMERCIAL (C-1) & HIGHWAY DISTRICT COMMERCIAL (C-2).

 

Proposed under the Discretionary Use, CANNABIS PRODUCTION FACILITIES shall be restricted to Direct Control Land Use District.

 

 

A PUBLIC HEARING will be held SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 at the beginning of the Regular Council meeting, commencing at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Town of Didsbury Town Office 1606 – 14 Street, Box 790 Didsbury Alberta, TOM 0WO. First, Second and Third Reading of the proposed Bylaw will be considered following the Public Hearing. The style of the hearing will be informal and persons wishing to speak will be requested to state their name and address for the record upon being recognized during the Public Hearing Written responses will also be accepted up until 12:00 noon September 4, 2018. A copy of the proposed Recreational Cannabis amendments to Land Use Bylaw 2013-03 is available on the Town website at www.didsbury.ca or at the Town of Didsbury Town Office, 1606 – 14 Street during regular office hours 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.