Article by Scott Johnstone, Lift
While most of Canada patiently awaits the federal government’s cannabis legalization framework to be revealed, the City of Edmonton is taking a proactive approach to making its existing municipal legislation ready for the transition. Long-standing bylaws are being reviewed and discussed, and amendments are being proposed to define and regulate where cannabis can and can’t be grown, distributed, and/or consumed.
Last week a report was presented to the City of Edmonton’s Executive Committee outlining the status of federal legalization, recommendations from the federally appointed tTask Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation, potential ‘nuisance factors’ (eg, odours, fire safety, noise from production facilities, etc.), bylaw enforcement, a review of Vancouver, Toronto, and Denver with an eye toward developing best practices to be implemented in Edmonton, and finally the proposed bylaw amendments themselves.
Within the body of existing Federal Law, cannabis is generally referred to as ‘marihuana’, but lawmakers have agreed that going forward the preferred term is ‘cannabis’, so within this article any instances of ‘marihuana’ or ‘marijuana’ will be stated as ‘cannabis’.
Here are some highlights of the report presented to the Executive Committee:
- Cannabis production and/or distribution will not be permitted under the existing bylaw governing home based businesses, and the existing clause for greenhouses, plant nurseries, and garden centers will be updated to prevent the implicit sanctioning of cannabis cultivation. There’s also an amendment that would prevent cannabis plants falling under the urban garden clause.
- Cannabis lounges will not be permitted under the existing bylaw for bars, neighbourhood pubs, or night clubs (this also extends to private clubs—sorry, Windermere Country Club members, no weed on the golf course).
- Convenience stores will not be permitted to include cannabis retail sales, nor will such sales be permitted by businesses that are licensed as general retail stores.