Legalization of Recreational Cannabis Engagement Survey

In April 2017, the federal government introduced Bill C-45, known as the Cannabis Act, to legalize recreational cannabis in Canada by summer 2018. This bill creates a framework to regulate how cannabis is produced, distributed and sold by identifying health and safety standards, establishing criminal prohibitions and defining responsibilities for provincial and municipal governments. 

In November 2017, the provincial government passed Bill 26, An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis based on its Cannabis Framework. The Town of Beaumont will also have a role to play in the legalization of cannabis related to education, retail location and rules, public consumption, and land use and zoning. Your input is an important part of informing the development of bylaw and policy surrounding cannabis.

Questions asked in this survey will address items specific to Land Use, Smoking and Business Licence Bylaws. Additional questions may be asked in the future regarding the Town of Beaumont’s other regulatory responsibilities. 

* 1. How familiar are you with the roles of each level of government and the various objectives and strategies related to cannabis legalization?

Within its jurisdiction of the cannabis framework, the Town of Beaumont will have to amend its Land Use, Smoking and potentially it’s Business Licence Bylaws.

Please consider the following definitions while answering the question below. 

Economic Development: effectively leveraging market strengths and opportunities to progress the local economy and promote Town of Beaumont as an economic leader.

Community Wellness: supporting a safe, healthy, active and caring community through accessible programs and resources that contribute to residents' well-being.

* 2. While preparing the legal framework that will allow the Town of Beaumont to manage cannabis related land uses, emphasis should be put on:

One objective of federal and provincial regulations is to minimize the exposure of youth to cannabis.

The minimum age for purchasing and consuming cannabis will be set to 18, which is consistent with the minimum age requirement for alcohol.

Further, the Town of Beaumont regulates the location of alcohol retail through its Land Use Bylaw.
 
Currently, the Town of Beaumont Land Use Bylaw permits liquor stores in commercial, and mixed use areas to be 500 meters apart from each other. Additionally, the provincial regulations establish that private cannabis retailers must have 100 meters buffer between schools and provincial health care facilities. Municipalities will also have the ability to set additional buffers to suit the community.

* 3. While preparing the legal framework that will allow the Town of Beaumont to manage cannabis related land uses, the Town of Beaumont should:


The proposed provincial Cannabis Framework states that the retail sale of cannabis will be conducted through the private sector which will receive its product from a government-regulated distributor.

This framework provides authority to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) to carry out oversight and compliance functions as well as manage distribution of cannabis. Similar to the system the province currently has in place for alcohol, AGLC will:
  • Provide oversight in the distribution of packages and cannabis products, ensuring only legally produced products come into Alberta.
  • Ensure cannabis is distributed to specialized retail outlets, which won’t be allowed to sell alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals.
  • Work with producers and retailers to provide Albertans with access to clean, safe, regulated cannabis products.
It is the responsibility of the Town of Beaumont to identify which areas will allow for cannabis retail stores within the Land Use Bylaw.

* 4. Within the Town of Beaumont, which areas should cannabis retail be permitted? Please indicate all those that apply.

The province has established setbacks for the locations of cannabis retail stores, to minimize youth exposure and access to cannabis stores.

For example
, the provincial government has established cannabis retail locations to be 100 meters from schools and provincial health care facilities, and Beaumont has established liquor outlets to be 500 meters apart.


Urban planning also considers walkability: a community is considered more accessible if amenities are within 400 meters (1,312 feet or ¼ mile) of every residence. It is estimated that a typical youth/adult will be capable of walking such distance within 5 minutes.

* 5. In regards to separating distance between recreation facilities, parks, day cares and cannabis retail stores, the Town of Beaumont should apply:

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) regulates the hours of operation for liquor stores, and cannabis retail stores to operate between 10 a.m. to 2 a.m..Town of Beaumont currently follows AGLC guidelines.

Through its Business Licence Bylaw, the Town of Beaumont can choose to impose conditions for hours of operation on top of what AGLC will define. The Town of Beaumont does not currently impose conditions for hours or operation for liquor stores.

* 6. Should the Town of Beaumont impose additional restrictions on hours of operation for cannabis retail stores?

The federal and provincial governments both agree that it will be important to look into the concentration of cannabis retail stores.

It is possible to anticipate that the industry may want to concentrate its presence, comparable to restaurants or gas stations that locate close together to create a destination.The provincial government will not regulate these factors, which will be the responsibility of the municipality:

  • The number of cannabis stores in the municipality
  • The location of stores and space between stores
  • Matters that involve retail competition (municipality may have difficulty in regulating the competition)
  • Community image, safety and property values

* 7. While considering potential locations for cannabis retail stores, the Town of Beaumont should:

* 8. Are there any other topic(s) related to cannabis that the Town of Beaumont should discuss and/or investigate? Please let us know below.

* 9. Please identify which category you belong to:

Thank you for completing our survey (press Done below)

The development of the Town of Beaumont's bylaw and policy surrounding the legalization of cannabis is dependent upon guidelines, regulations and recommendations provided by the provincial and federal governments.

It is expected that both governments will release additional legislative requirements in the coming months. As this information is provided, the Town of Beaumont will adjust the development of its bylaws and policy accordingly to determine the best course of action in managing the legalization of cannabis. Additional opportunities for public input will be available through updates to Council and any amendments to the Land Use Bylaws will require a public hearings and three (3) readings.

The Town of Beaumont will continue to provide residents the opportunity to share input into the Town of Beaumont's various regulatory responsibilities as community consultation continues. If you have any additional questions about cannabis legalization and this survey, please contact the Town of Beaumont by phoning 780-929-8782 or emailing engagement@beaumont.ab.ca.

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