Cannabis

Town of Beaumont's approach to cannabis legalization

The Government of Canada has introduced legislation to legalize cannabis. There will be new federal, provincial and municipal processes for cannabis production, sale and consumption.

The legalization of cannabis will have many impacts. Town of Beaumont 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.

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 in 2018, and will allow cannabis to be used for recreational purposes.


Cannabis Legalization Timeline



Cannabis Survey Response Summary and Details

We had a sample of 640 respondents that took part in this survey, with 93% of them being residents of Beaumont and the rest were business owners.

In our first line of question, we found that the majority of respondents were somewhat familiar with the roles of government in strategies related to the legalization of cannabis in Canada, and we surmised that about 3/4’s of these respondents were in the very least aware of these roles and strategies and ¼ of being unaware at all.

In preparation of a framework that will allow the Town of Beaumont to manage cannabis related land uses, we found that the majority of respondents, which was slightly more than half, wanted to find the balance between economic opportunities and the health and wellness of the community. Followed by about a third of them that preferred to only insuring the health and wellness of the community and 16% that only wanted to insure for economic opportunities. In relation to this question, we found that half of the respondents wanted a framework of regulation on cannabis stores, similar to that of liquor store and a quarter that wanted to increase regulation, compared to liquor stores.

In considering the locations for cannabis retail stores, we had the majority of respondents favor retail stores in commercial areas, followed by the city center, then industrial parks and lastly, residential areas. Leading on from this question, in regards to a separating distance between recreation facilities, parks, day cares and cannabis retail stores, slightly more than half of the respondents favored a separating distance a minimum of 500 meters, followed by a quarter of them that favored a distance between a 100 and 400 meters and a tenth of them that wanted a minimum of 400 meters.

Most of the respondents favored to let the market dictate the concentration of cannabis stores in strategic area of the Town of Beaumont, followed by lesser portion of respondents that favored the dispersion of cannabis retail stores in strategic area.

In our final line of question, on other topics of conversation related to cannabis that the Town of Beaumont should discuss and/or investigate, the responses were centered around five dominant themes of conversation, distribution, consumption, health hazard, responsible use and safe production of cannabis in the Town of Beaumont.

Government roles

While the legalization of cannabis is a federal decision, provinces and municipalities each have areas of responsibility.

Activity

Responsible

Federal
Provincial
Municipal
Possession limits **tick

Traffickingtick

Advertisement & packaging **tick

Impaired drivingticktick
Medical cannabistick

Seed-to-sale tracking systemtick

Production (cultivation and processing)tick

Age limit (federal minimum) **tick

Public healthticktick
Educationtickticktick
Taxationtickticktick
Home cultivation (growing plants at home) **tick

Workplace safety
tick
Distribution and wholesaling
tick
Retail model
tick
Retail location and rules
ticktick
Regulatory complianceticktick
Public consumption
ticktick
Land use/zoning

tick

**provinces will have the ability to strengthen legislation for these areas under federal jurisdiction

Table Source: Cannabis legalization in Canada



Town of Beaumont role

The federal and provincial governments are determining the roles and responsibilities of municipalities in cannabis legalization.

Municipalities, including Town of Beaumont, 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. Town of Beaumont may need to create or change various services, policies and bylaws to accommodate legalization.

Town of Beaumont is investigating how to best manage the legalization of cannabis in the best interests of our community. 

Sharing information will be an important part of this process, including community dialogue.


Town of Beaumont’s next steps include:

  • Gather information, including understanding how Alberta’s framework will be applied at the municipal level.
  • Land Use, Smoking and Business Licence Bylaws for Town of Beaumont will be brought forward for approval 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 including, but not limited to, the Land Use, Business Bylaws and the Smoking Bylaws.


Town of Beaumont is investigating its role in:

  • Establishing cannabis retail stores
  • Monitoring cannabis use in public
  • Educating the public on legal cannabis use


Town of Beaumont Business

  • Town of Beaumont is reviewing its Land Use Bylaw to address and place land use regulations on licensed cannabis growing, production, distribution and processing facilities, including consumption, to reflect changes in Provincial and Federal regulations.
  • Over the next coming months, Town of Beaumont will engage stakeholders and coordinate with provincial and federal governments before implementing further Land Use Bylaw changes.
  • All businesses must first obtain a development permit before operating in Town of Beaumont. We are currently reviewing our Land Use Bylaw.


Growing and processing medical cannabis

  • All businesses must first obtain a development permit before operating in Town of Beaumont.
  • Applicants must apply to the federal government for a licence and receive all the necessary approvals to become a licensed producer for medical purposes.


Federal role

The Government of Canada is responsible for cannabis production, sale, possession and medical cannabis regulations. The federal bill (Bill C-45) regulates cannabis and sets the standards for:

  • Health and safety
  • Illegal or criminal actions
  • Provincial responsibility for cannabis regulation
  • Visit the Government of Canada website for more information on the federal legalization and regulation of cannabis.


Provincial role

The Government of Alberta responds to the federal legislation.

  • Albertans shared their feedback on cannabis legalization in Alberta through public engagement in 2017.
  • Alberta’s framework and legislation outlines legal and responsible use of cannabis by Albertans. Alberta’s plan includes possession and consumption limitations, workplace safety and distribution (both retail and wholesale).
  • Alberta’s Bill 26 provides authority for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission the oversight and compliance functions, as well as manage the distribution of cannabis; carry out public online sales and to license privately owned and operated cannabis stores; establish provincial offences related to youth possession, public consumption and consumption of cannabis in vehicles.
  • Alberta passed Bill 29 to update impaired driving offences and sanctions to include drug-impaired driving.
  • Visit the Government of Alberta website for more information on Alberta’s approach to Cannabis legalization.


Purchasing cannabis and cannabis retail locations

Once federal legislation comes into effect, Albertans will have two options for purchasing recreational cannabis:

  • Privately run retail stores
  • Provincial government-operated online sales

Physical retail locations will be subject to provincial government regulations and the terms of licenses granted by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, including the aforementioned details. AGLC begins accepting applications for cannabis retail licenses on March 6, 2018. Town of Beaumont will also play a role in establishing retail locations within the community.

Details on licensing and establishing a cannabis retail operation are now available from the provincial government.

Online sales and home delivery will be operated by the provincial government. This is in response to concerns raised by Albertans about the need for strict control over age verification processes during the initial sale and at time of delivery. It will also give Albertans confidence in their purchases, as there will be a single online source for recreational cannabis.

Though cannabis cafes and lounges will not be permitted at this time, the updated provincial legislation gives the authority to regulate these forms of establishments should government decide to allow them at a later date. Further information is available on Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission website.


Development Permit for Cannabis Retail Stores

Beaumont will begin accepting Development Permits for Cannabis Retail Stores on a first-come, first-served basis as of August 15, 2018. The following shall accompany an application for a cannabis retail use development permit:

  • An application for a retail license deemed eligible by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission;
  • Authorization from the owner of the property location;
  • A site plan and store layout;
  • Signage details;
  • Applicable fees as noted below.

Development Permits will not be issued until after the Land Use Bylaw has been amended to include this use. Adoption of those changes is scheduled for August 28, 2018. This early application timeline will allow Administration to review and provide feedback to applicants to facilitate an approved application. Building permits may also be submitted at the same time.

The Development Permit form and the Standard Authorization letter have been attached for your use.

Application fees for 2018 are as follows:
Development permit fee - $250
Notification fee - $106
Building permit fee – calculated at $6.37/$1,000 of construction value
Safety Codes fee – 4% of the building permit fee
General Contractors Business License for the construction – 0.25% of the construction value to a maximum of $530
Electrical, plumbing and gas permits and fees are separate and may be pulled by those applicable trades

Application for the business license for the retail store shall be applied for a minimum of 1 week prior to opening of the business.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Current Planning service area at development@beaumont.ab.ca.


Questions?

Email engagement@beaumont.ab.ca or call 780-929-8782
Please note: details on municipal roles are still being worked out at the provincial and federal level. Information will be updated on this website, as it becomes available.