Article by Michelle Bellefontaine, CBC News
The city of Edmonton is looking at a zoning bylaw change that could pave the way for the establishment of cannabis lounges if they are allowed after marijuana is legalized in July 2018.
In a report for city council, administration said these proposed amendments are a proactive step in getting ready for next year.
“This new classification is intended to differentiate this use from other eating and drinking uses already defined in Zoning Bylaw 12800 (for example, bar and neighbourhood pubs),” city administration said in a report for next week’s public hearing.
“Other jurisdictions, such as Denver, have found it necessary to provide places for tourists to consume cannabis — cannabis lounges would provide a land use classification to accommodate this activity.”
If passed, the bylaw change won’t mean cannabis lounges will necessarily be established.
The province is responsible for setting rules on where and how cannabis is sold and where it can be consumed.
The Alberta government is consulting the public this summer through surveys and roundtable discussions. with a view to releasing a draft cannabis framework this fall.
More work will have to be done on issues like zoning, development permits and separation distances, the report added.
Alberta will be ready
The bylaw amendments also include a new use called “cannabis retail sales” to the bylaw. The report says this will it make it clear that these products won’t be sold in convenience and general retail stores.