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Posted on: October 16, 2018

County of Stettler prepared for cannabis legalization

The County of Stettler No. 6 is prepared for the legalization of cannabis across Canada, which is set to take place on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.

On October 10, Council passed Bylaw 1598-18 - Cannabis Consumption Bylaw which addresses the Consumption of Cannabis in the County of Stettler. It states that Cannabis may only be consumed in private residences or on private property. Residents will not be allowed to smoke or vape cannabis on any public property within the County of Stettler, including all of the hamlets.

Penalties associated with offences to this bylaw are $250 for a first offence; $500 for a second offence within one year of the first; and $750 for a third and any subsequent offence within a year of a prior offence.

The County of Stettler’s Land Use Bylaw was also amended to provide for Cannabis Retail Sales. Municipalities cannot prohibit cannabis production and sales, however Council was able to customize the locations and setback requirements of these facilities to suit our community.

A survey conducted by the County and responded to by over 600 participants showed the following results relative to the location of cannabis stores:

  • 78% were either neutral or very concerned about the separation distance of cannabis stores to places where youth gather
  • 69% wanted cannabis stores separated from places where youth gather by 200 metres or more
  • 44% thought that hamlet commercial areas are an appropriate cannabis store location
  • 58% were either neutral or not concerned at all about the location of cannabis production facilities.

Taking the survey results into consideration, and the fact that the federal and provincial regulations for security and other measures required of the premises from where a person applies for a license to sell cannabis are of such a nature that private dwellings are likely not suitable, the proposed bylaw amendment provides for Cannabis Retail Sales as a discretionary use only from commercial and industrial land use districts as follows:

  • Commercial District (one property in the County)
  • Hamlet Commercial District (several properties in the County)
  • Hamlet Industrial District (no properties in the County)
  • Highway Commercial District (one property in the County)
  • Highway Mixed Use District (several properties in the County)
  • Industrial District (several properties in the County)

The County of Stettler’s Land Use Bylaw restricts Cannabis Retail Sales to between the hours of 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM only. Cannabis Retail Sales locations must be 400 meters from the property boundary of all schools (as defined in the School Act), training facilities and other educational premises to the occupied floor area of a Cannabis Retrail Sales; 400 meters from a Day Care Facility, recreation facility, playground, community centre, church or public park.

These bylaws apply to the County of Stettler No. 6 and the hamlets herein including Botha, Byemoor, Erskine, Endiang, Red Willow, Nevis and the communities along the south shore of Buffalo Lake outside of the Summer Villages. The Town of Stettler, the Villages of Big Valley, Donalda and the Summer Villages of Rochon Sands and White Sands will have their own Bylaws to address cannabis. In addition, Botha has its own Land Use Bylaw which is similar to the County of Stettler’s and available on our website.

For more information on the Cannabis Consumption Bylaw please contact Shawna Benson, Legislative Services Advisor at 403-742-4441, sbenson@stettlercounty.ca.

For more information on our Land Use Bylaw as it pertains to Cannabis Retail or Production Facility Locations, please contact Johan van der Bank at 403-742-4441, jvanderbank@stettlercounty.ca.

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