Cannabis Regulations | The Town of Okotoks

Cannabis Regulations

In April of 2017, the Federal Government announced that consumption and retail sale of recreational cannabis would become legal in 2018; legalization is expected on October 17, 2018.  The Town of Okotoks has compiled some information that may be helpful for you in understanding the process for municipal government.

Cannabis: More Information
Land Use Bylaw Amendment

Administration is currently working on a Land Use Bylaw amendment with the goal of enabling consideration of applications for retail cannabis stores in Okotoks.  This will follow legalization by the federal government, which is expected to be in place by the fall of 2018.

The Town encourages compliance with plans, policies, and legislation from all levels of government. The Land Use Bylaw amendment will work within the Province of Alberta’s Bill 26: An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis, which received Royal Assent on December 15, 2017; updates to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Regulation (February 16, 2018); and any related or subsequent legislation and regulations.

At this time, the Town of Okotoks may consider a Development Permit Application for the uses and businesses associated with cannabis through the following areas:

  • Retail stores that sell cannabis-related products/paraphernalia, but not cannabis or cannabis derived products, may currently be considered as an Adult Entertainment Use. An adult entertainment use may only be considered in a Direct Control District designated for that purpose.
  • Businesses that provide consultation and counselling on the use of medical cannabis, provide prescriptions for medical cannabis, provide information regarding access to medical cannabis; but do not sell cannabis-related products/paraphernalia, cannabis, or cannabis derived products; may currently be considered as a Medical Clinic or Office, depending upon the nature of the use.

Please note that retail cannabis stores are anticipated to be listed and defined as a specific, unique land use.  That means that existing businesses currently permitted and licensed to operate under existing land use categories will not be permitted to add the retail sale of cannabis to their business operations upon legalization.  If the regulations in the Land Use Bylaw allow for the use to be undertaken in the business’s current location, the business operator may make application for a Development Permit for the change of use. Businesses with valid permits and licenses in the Town of Okotoks will not be exempt from changes to the Land Use Bylaw in relation to the legalization of retail cannabis sales.

Also note that medical marijuana production facilities are currently not licensed or permitted within the Town of Okotoks.

Any person who contravenes or causes, allows or permits a contravention of any provision of the Land Use Bylaw, or of a development permit, or any condition forming part of a development permit, is guilty of an offense and may be fined $1,500 for a first offense by Municipal Enforcement.

A development permit may be required when adding a use or changing the intensity of a use or business, such as adding retail sales to a medical clinic, or expanding the floor area of your business.

For more information regarding enforcement and fines, please refer to Land Use Bylaw Section 6.

Bylaws: 30-18- Land Use Bylaw Amendment to add Cannabis Related Uses & Bylaw 31-18 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment to amend Adult Entertainment Use 32-18 - Bylaw Amendment to Business License Bylaw 33-18 - Cannabis Consumption Bylaw 34-18 - Smoking Bylaw 35-18 - Bylaw Amendment to Community Standards Bylaw

The third reading of these Bylaws occurred on Monday, June 25, 2018 at Okotoks Town Council's regular meeting.  To review the Bylaws please click on the buttons below:

Bylaw 30-18

Summary: The purpose of this bylaw is to amend the Land Use Bylaw by adding definitions of cannabis and cannabis related uses, establish regulations for cannabis related uses, and establish which district(s) cannabis related uses can be considered for development.

Bylaw 31-18 

Summary: The purpose of this bylaw is to amend the Land Use Bylaw revising the definition of Adult Entertainment Use.

Bylaw 32-18

Summary: The purpose of the bylaw is to amend the Business License Bylaw to remove the sections regarding definitions of smoke shop and tobacco products and the sections on Smoking Related Businesses and Smoke Shops.

Bylaw 33-18

Summary: The purpose of the bylaw is to provide additional restrictions on the smoking, vaping and other forms of consumption of cannabis in public places to prevent behviours and conduct that may have a negative impact on the enjoyment of public places.

Bylaw 34-18

Summary: The purpose of this bylaw is to limit the effects of known health hazards or discomfort from secondhand smoke by regulating smoking in public places and workplaces.

Bylaw 35-18

Summary: The purpose of the bylaw is to amend the Community Standards Bylaw to provide legislation to regulate "nuisance odours" and "smoke and odours."

Retail Sales

Currently, the retail sale of cannabis is not legal in Canada. Recreational production, sale and use of cannabis is illegal and is not licensed or permitted by the Town of Okotoks. 

However, with impending legalization, the Town of Okotoks is now accepting applications from businesses for the retail sale of cannabis and its derivative products.  

Please be aware of the following:

  • ALL cannabis related uses require a development permit application.
  • The application should include all materials detailed in the document below

Detailed Development Permit Application Requirements: Retail Cannabis Store

  • Applications forms, credit card authorization forms, etc. can be found by clicking the link below:

Development Permits

Recommendations by Council's Governance and Priorities Committee

The following is the summary of unanimously carried recommendations put forth by Council’s Governance and Priorities Committee regarding proposed policies to regulate retail recreational cannabis stores and production facilities, business licensing, and public consumption.           

  • Adhere to the provincial standard of a 100m separation between cannabis retail stores and provincial health care facilities and schools.
  • Adhere to the provincial standard of a 100m separation between cannabis retail stores and provincial health care facilities and schools.
  • That cannabis retail stores be managed as a discretionary use in some commercial districts and that cannabis production and distribution be managed as a discretionary use in some industrial districts.
  • That “retail cannabis store” be added as a Discretionary Use to the following land use districts: Central Business Commercial (CCB) District, Highway Commercial (CHWY) District, Shopping Centre (CSC) Commercial District, Gateway Commercial (CGATE) District, Special Development Commercial (CSD) District, and Business Industrial (I1) District. 
  • That “cannabis production and distribution facility” be added as a Discretionary Use to the following land use districts: Business Industrial (I1) District, South Business Industrial (I1S) District, and General Industrial (I2) District. 
  • Remove all sections of the Business License Bylaw that deal with operational components already under the regulation and management of another approving authority (e.g. Alberta Health Services, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, etc.). 
  • A bylaw similar to Calgary’s Cannabis Consumption Bylaw be drafted prohibiting the consumption of Cannabis in public; and that Administration bring forward information on the rationale behind the clause in Calgary’s bylaw that states “alcohol and tobacco are not consumed in the area designated for the smoking, vaping or consumption of cannabis”. 
  • Draft proposed Smoking and Vaping Bylaw similar to Calgary; and that the 5m smoking boundary for the entrance to a public premise be extended to 10m; and that a 10m meter boundary from all public pathways, public sidewalks, or from non-custodial children under the age of 18, for persons approved to smoke / vape cannabis for approved medical purposes be included.  
  • A supporting offence be added to our Community Standards Bylaw as follows: “Smoke and Odours: No person shall cause, permit or engage in any activity that allows any nuisance odour to originate from a premise or residential building that interferes with the lawful enjoyment of any other person’s property.” 
Permit Requirements through Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (ALGC)

The Town of Okotoks Development Permit and Business Licencing processes are in alignment with federal and provincial policies, regulations, and legislation. As such, all retail cannabis stores will be required to provide proof of AGLC eligibility before a Development Permit is approved and AGLC licencing before a Business License will be issued. Updates to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Regulation were introduced on February 16, 2018.

AGLC Policies:

  • A retail cannabis store license will not be issued to an applicant unless the business, under which activities authorized by the license will be carried out, is separate from any other business.
  • A retail cannabis license will not be issued if the premises is located within 100m of:
    • A provincial health care facility, or a boundary of the parcel of land on which the facility is located, or
    • A building containing a school or a boundary of the parcel of land on which the facility is located, or
    • A boundary of a parcel of land that is designated as a school reserve or municipal and school reserve under the Municipal Government Act.
  • A municipality may pass bylaws varying the distance specified above.

The design and construction of retail cannabis stores must meet local municipal building code and zoning requirements.

  • Drive-through windows are prohibited.
  • Signage must comply with all federal, provincial and municipal requirements.
  • Signage must be in good taste and not depict a lifestyle, endorsement, person, character or animal.
  • Signage may not promote intoxication. Terms and images such as, but not limited to, “chronic,” “stoned” or “high” are not permitted.
  • Sign(s) or identification may not include graphics which appeal to minors, show the use of cannabis, display intoxication, display or identify a cannabis product or accessory, display a price or indicate a price advantage, or display any sporting or cultural event or activity.
Municipal Enforcement and RCMP

Municipal Enforcement will be responsible for:

  • bylaw infractions
  • neighbourhood complaints

RCMP will be responsible for:

  • underage use
  • public intoxication
  • driving while under the influence

 

Municipal Centre
Sun: Closed
Mon - Fri: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Sat: Closed
Closed on Statutory Holidays
  • General Inquiries: (403) 995-2760 Contact Online
    Fax: (403) 938-7387
Okotoks Municipal Centre & Council Chambers
Sun: Closed
Mon - Fri: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed
Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sat: Closed
Closed On Statutory Holidays
  • Municipal Enforcement Services - Complaint Line: 403-938-8913
    Municipal Enforcement Services - Inquiry Line: 403-995-6302
Sun: Closed
Mon - Wed: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat: Closed
  • For Emergencies Call: 9-1-1
    RCMP Complaints (24 hours) : 403-938-4202
Municipal Centre

Planning Services

Sun: Closed
Mon - Fri: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Sat: Closed

Contact

  • General Inquiries: (403) 995-2760 Contact Online
    Fax: (403) 938-7387
Closed on Statutory Holidays
Okotoks Municipal Centre & Council Chambers

Contact

Contact

  • Municipal Enforcement Services - Complaint Line: 403-938-8913
    Municipal Enforcement Services - Inquiry Line: 403-995-6302
Closed On Statutory Holidays

Southridge Emergency Services - Okotoks RCMP

Sun: Closed
Mon - Wed: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat: Closed

Contact

  • For Emergencies Call: 9-1-1
    RCMP Complaints (24 hours) : 403-938-4202