Lacombe County’s Land Use Bylaw (LUB) was amended to accommodate cannabis legalization at the October 25, 2018, Lacombe County Council meeting. Before these changes were drafted, staff held two public meetings, in conjunction with Alberta Health Services, as part of the County’s Cannabis in Your Community public engagement strategy. The feedback from these meetings and a public survey were used to gather comments and concerns regarding cannabis legalization and its impacts on Lacombe County.
“Our goal from the start was to ensure the changes to the bylaw took into account the many perspectives held by our ratepayers,” said Reeve Paula Law. “Council felt that this updated Land Use Bylaw encompasses the concerns and opportunities felt by Lacombe County ratepayers while providing a strong foundation that can be built on for this emerging industry.”
The two areas that the LUB looked at as a result of cannabis legalization were cannabis production facilities and cannabis retail.
Cannabis Production Facilities: Identified as a discretionary use in the Agricultural ‘A’ District, the Business Industrial ‘I-BI’ District, and the Hamlet Industrial ‘I-H’ District.
Cannabis Retail: Identified as a discretionary use in the Hamlet Commercial ‘C-H’ District, Highway Commercial ‘C-HC’ District, General Commercial ‘C-GC’ District, and Recreational ‘P-R’ District. Public feedback indicated that cannabis retail stores should be treated the same as liquor stores.
“The public was clear that they be informed of any development permit applications for proposed cannabis facilities, which we have built into the amended Land Use Bylaw,” said Director of Planning Services, Dale Freitag. “We made sure to include feedback on what the community deemed as appropriate locations for retail stores, which helped determine the districts appropriate for cannabis retail.”
Setbacks for Cannabis Production Facilities
During the 2019 review of the Land Use Bylaw, Council requested amendments to add setbacks from a cannabis production facility to a residential use. These setbacks were added to the Land Use Bylaw in both the Agricultural ‘A’ District and Hamlet Industrial ‘I-H’ District, to address compatibility issues between land uses. If the Development Authority feels the noted setbacks are insufficient to buffer the cannabis production facility from an adjacent land use, the Development Authority may increase the required setback.
For more details on Cannabis Legalization in Lacombe County, please visit Lacombe County’s website (www.lacombecounty.com) or contact Planning Services at 403.782.8389.
2018 Survey Results: pdf Survey Results Cannabis (1.58 MB)
Information/Resources on Cannabis
Government of Canada Your Cannabis Questions, Answered: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/marijuana-cannabis.html
Government of Canada Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/policing/justice/legalization-regulation-marijuana.html
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction: http://www.ccsa.ca/Eng/topics/Marijuana/Pages/default.asp
Alberta’s Approach to Cannabis Legalization: https://www.alberta.ca/cannabis-legalization.aspx
The Future of Cannabis in Alberta: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/cannabis-future-of-cannabis-alberta.pdf
Bill 26 An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis: http://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files/docs/bills/bill/legislature_29/session_3/20170302_bill-026.pdf
Bill 29: An Act to Reduce Cannabis and Alcohol Impaired Driving (Alberta): http://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files/docs/bills/bill/legislature_29/session_3/20170302_bill-029.pdf
AHS Recommendations on Cannabis Regulations for Alberta Municipalities: https://www.sylvanlake.ca/en/explore-sylvan/resources/Documents/Recommendations-Cannabis-Regs-Municipalities.pdf