Cannabis Legalization Update
The federal government has announced that cannabis for recreational use will be legalized on October 17, 2018. This means there will be new federal, provincial and municipal processes for cannabis production, sale and consumption.
Brazeau County Council gave First Reading of Bylaw 1001-18 on August 21, 2018. Bylaw 1001-18 proposes to amend the County’s Land Use Bylaw to accommodate cannabis legalization. Council also set a Public Hearing for September 18, 2018 at 10:15 am in Council Chambers for any affected stakeholders to voice concerns or comments on the proposed changes. A copy of the proposed Bylaw can be found here and a summary of the changes can be found here.
If you have any comments, concerns or questions, please contact Jessica Karpo, Senior Long Range Planner, at or 780-542-7777. Alternatively, you may present your comments to Council at the Public Hearing on September 18, 2018 at 10:15 am.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis refers to products made from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. You may have also heard it called marijuana or pot. It can be consumed by smoking, vaporizing, eating in food, drinking, dabbing, putting drops under the tongue, or applying it directly to the skin in a lotion.
What does Legalization mean?
Cannabis is currently legal for medical purposes. This means that people with a prescription can purchase cannabis from licensed medical cannabis producers. Cannabis legalization refers to making cannabis legal for non-medical purposes. While the legalization of cannabis is a federal decision, provinces and municipalities each have areas of responsibility.
Federal Government Decisions
Consuming cannabis for non-medical purposes will be legalized on October 17, 2018. The minimum age that people can buy, possess and consume cannabis will be 18 (provinces can increase the age limit). The federal government will set rules for:
- The types of cannabis products sold
- How cannabis products can be packaged and labelled
- The serving sizes and strength of cannabis products
- Safe practices for producing cannabis
- Tracking cannabis from seed to sale
For more information on federal legislation click here.
Province of Alberta Decisions
The minimum age will be 18 in Alberta. Smoking will be restricted in areas where children and youth gather. Cannabis will be sold in private retail stores and through a provincially managed online system. Stores will have to sell provincially licensed cannabis, and cannot sell cannabis with alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals. The provincial government will set rules for:
- The minimum separation distances between cannabis stores and places where children and youth gather
- Tracking the distribution of cannabis from licensed producers to cannabis retail stores
For more information of provincial legislation click here.
Brazeau County Decisions
Brazeau County will be required to amend its Land Use Bylaw and possibly introduce new bylaws to help prepare our community for change. In anticipation of this, Brazeau County held open houses, workshops and circulated a survey about cannabis legalization this spring.
This was to ensure our community could give their input on how best to manage the legalization of cannabis in Brazeau County. Thank you to everyone who participated! We received almost 400 surveys and had meaningful input from those who attended our events. We’ve compiled these comments into a “What We Heard” report that you can view here.