Ask the Town – Cannabis

On October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis will become legal in Canada. As you can imagine, this monumental shift will have impact on all levels of government. From municipalities like Hinton through two the federal government, each level has distinct responsibilities in this coming change. Responsibilities that will ensure that the legalization of recreational cannabis is conducted in a safe manner, but also, in a way that facilitates the development of new economic growth.

The Town of Hinton has compiled the following Ask the Town to provide you with an overview of what you need to know. You can also learn more by visiting hinton.ca/cannabis

What changes are coming to Hinton to accommodate the legalization of cannabis?
Municipalities are responsible for two distinct areas during the legalization of cannabis: the public consumption of cannabis, and local development regulations. In Hinton, these areas will be dealt with through pieces of legislation:

LUB Amendment 1088-6, Business License Bylaw 1126 (in draft currently)
These proposed amendments will lay down development and usage details, including:

  • Business license, license conditions and fees
  • Taxation
  • Development permits and application processes
  • Local zoning and density
  • Building standards
  • Personal cultivation requirements
Bylaw 1125 Cannabis Public Consumption (in draft currently)
This proposed bylaw addresses local constraints surrounding personal consumption, possession, and smoking, including: 
  • Consumption in public areas
    • The province has established a list of areas where consumption is prohibited
    • Beyond these standards, municipalities could further constrain use in public places

Through public engagement activities, the Town of Hinton is inviting Hintonites to share feedback and perspectives that Council will consider with all additional relevant information, prior to making decisions around cannabis retail or consumption. 

How will retail cannabis be managed in Alberta?
The AGLC will be the only supplier to retail cannabis locations, managing the process in a way similar to how they regulate the sale of alcohol. Only AGLC licensed stores, and albertacannabis.org, will be able to sell legal cannabis.
The province is maintaining federal guidelines for minimum age of purchase (18), and maximum personal possession in public space (30g).
Finally, the province has also determined that retail stores selling cannabis will not be permitted to sell alcohol, tobacco, or pharmaceuticals. A minimum 100 metre buffer between cannabis retailers and schools and provincial health care facilities has also been legislated.

How will consumption work?
To protect children and limit second-hand exposure, the province has established that the public smoking or vaping of cannabis in Alberta will be prohibited from any place where tobacco is restricted, and in the following places:  on any hospital property, on any school property, and on any child care facility property. Consumption will also be restricted in or within a prescribed distance from: a playground, a sports or playing field, a skateboard or bicycle park, a zoo, an outdoor theatre, an outdoor pool or splash pad, and from any motor vehicles (with the exception of those being used as a temporary residence, such as a parked RV).

How will production work?
Federal oversight determines who can produce cannabis, how they produce cannabis, as well as standards of acceptable chemical content, and packaging standards.

How can I learn more?
Visit Hinton.ca/cannabis to learn more, participate in our cannabis survey, and view the calendar of engagement events. This page has been prepared to offer residents a place to find information regarding cannabis legalization, including links to provincial and federal information, visuals to support the understanding of impacts of legalization, and more.

How can I share my opinion?
The Town of Hinton Cannabis Engagement Survey is available on our website from August 2, through September 7. In addition, residents can attend the August 4th or August 18th #HintonFirst Public Markets, where Cannabis Engagement Popups will be held. All residents are welcome to visit the Government Centre during open hours in August to view the engagement boards and share thoughts. An additional engagement opportunity will be held on September 5th at the Hinton Information and Registration Fair before the September 18th Public Hearing on Land Use Bylaw Amendment No. 1088-6.

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