Rocky View County Sets Cannabis Regulations

Rocky View County Council has approved amendments to the County’s Land Use Bylaw to deal with the upcoming October 17 legalization of marijuana.

Cannabis legalization is a federal government initiative through Health Canada, with specific provincial government rules through the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission. Rocky View County, like all Alberta municipalities, is responsible for setting policy that regulates retail locations, retail rules, and land use and zoning through the Land Use Bylaw, within the direction set by senior levels of government.

The key elements of the County’s approach include:

  • Prohibiting cannabis facilities and sales under any existing land use definitions, such as Farmers Market, Convenience Store, or Agricultural Processing.
  • Adding a new land use definition of Cannabis Retail Store to separate the use from other current retail and commercial uses. This allows specific rules to be applied as may be required in the future.
  • Establishing rules for selling cannabis in the County, including a 150-meter minimum distance requirement between retailers, and away from health care, school, and school reserve sites. Retail hours will be limited to 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, except December 25. Development permits must be re-approved every three years. The consumption of cannabis is prohibited in retail stores.
  • Permitting various sizes of cannabis (marijuana) crops to be grown, but only in specified areas (those with agriculture, farm, ranch, general business, or industrial activity zoning), and only with a license from Health Canada.
  • Establishing regulations for growing, harvesting, and processing cannabis in the County. These activities must be set back from dwellings by at least 75 meters, but there is no setback from health care, school, or school reserve sites. Development permits must be re-approved every three years. Growing cannabis is not permitted in a residential building.

The amendments to the County’s Land Use Bylaw are based on the framework provide by the provincial government, and align with the requirements of all levels of government. However, because the provincial government has not yet proclaimed Alberta’s legislation, municipal bylaws may require future amendments as the legislation is finalized.

The revised Land Use Bylaw with cannabis regulations will be posted on the County’s website at later in September.

Posted in: Bylaws & Enforcement Council Council News Media Releases

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