Cannabis Regulations

In April of 2017, the Federal Government announced that consumption and retail sale of recreational cannabis would become legal in 2018; legalization occurred on October 17, 2018.  The Town has compiled some information that may be helpful for you in understanding the process for municipal government.

Cannabis: More Information
Applicable Bylaws

The third reading of these Bylaws occurred on Monday, June 25, 2018 at Okotoks Town Council's regular meeting.  To review the Bylaws please click on the buttons below:

Bylaw 30-18

Summary: The purpose of this bylaw is to amend the Land Use Bylaw by adding definitions of cannabis and cannabis related uses, establish regulations for cannabis related uses, and establish which district(s) cannabis related uses can be considered for development.

Bylaw 31-18 

Summary: The purpose of this bylaw is to amend the Land Use Bylaw revising the definition of Adult Entertainment Use.

Bylaw 32-18

Summary: The purpose of the bylaw is to amend the Business License Bylaw to remove the sections regarding definitions of smoke shop and tobacco products and the sections on Smoking Related Businesses and Smoke Shops.

Bylaw 33-18

Summary: The purpose of the bylaw is to provide additional restrictions on the smoking, vaping and other forms of consumption of cannabis in public places to prevent behviours and conduct that may have a negative impact on the enjoyment of public places.

Bylaw 34-18

Summary: The purpose of this bylaw is to limit the effects of known health hazards or discomfort from secondhand smoke by regulating smoking in public places and workplaces.

Bylaw 35-18

Summary: The purpose of the bylaw is to amend the Community Standards Bylaw to provide legislation to regulate "nuisance odours" and "smoke and odours."

Retail Sales

As the retail sale of cannabis is now legal in Canada, recreational production, sale and use of cannabis is legal and permitted by the Town of Okotoks.   The Town is accepting applications from businesses for the retail sale of cannabis and its derivative products.  

Please be aware of the following:

  • ALL cannabis related uses require a development permit application.
  • The application should include all materials detailed in the document below

Detailed Development Permit Application Requirements: Retail Cannabis Store

  • Applications forms, credit card authorization forms, etc. can be found by clicking the link below:

Development Permits

Recommendations by Council's Governance and Priorities Committee

The following is the summary of unanimously carried recommendations put forth by Council’s Governance and Priorities Committee regarding proposed policies to regulate retail recreational cannabis stores and production facilities, business licensing, and public consumption.           

  • Adhere to the provincial standard of a 100m separation between cannabis retail stores and provincial health care facilities and schools.
  • That cannabis retail stores be managed as a discretionary use in some commercial districts and that cannabis production and distribution be managed as a discretionary use in some industrial districts.
  • That “retail cannabis store” be added as a Discretionary Use to the following land use districts: Central Business Commercial (CCB) District, Highway Commercial (CHWY) District, Shopping Centre (CSC) Commercial District, Gateway Commercial (CGATE) District, Special Development Commercial (CSD) District, and Business Industrial (I1) District. 
  • That “cannabis production and distribution facility” be added as a Discretionary Use to the following land use districts: Business Industrial (I1) District, South Business Industrial (I1S) District, and General Industrial (I2) District. 
  • Remove all sections of the Business License Bylaw that deal with operational components already under the regulation and management of another approving authority (e.g. Alberta Health Services, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, etc.). 
  • A bylaw similar to Calgary’s Cannabis Consumption Bylaw be drafted prohibiting the consumption of Cannabis in public; and that Administration bring forward information on the rationale behind the clause in Calgary’s bylaw that states “alcohol and tobacco are not consumed in the area designated for the smoking, vaping or consumption of cannabis”. 
  • Draft proposed Smoking and Vaping Bylaw similar to Calgary; and that the 5m smoking boundary for the entrance to a public premise be extended to 10m; and that a 10m meter boundary from all public pathways, public sidewalks, or from non-custodial children under the age of 18, for persons approved to smoke / vape cannabis for approved medical purposes be included.  
  • A supporting offense be added to our Community Standards Bylaw as follows: “Smoke and Odours: No person shall cause, permit or engage in any activity that allows any nuisance odour to originate from a premise or residential building that interferes with the lawful enjoyment of any other person’s property.” 
Permit Requirements through Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC)

The Town of Okotoks Development Permit and Business Licensing processes are in alignment with federal and provincial policies, regulations, and legislation.  As such, all retail cannabis stores will be required to provide proof of AGLC eligibility before a Development Permit is approved and AGLC licencing before a Business License will be issued. Updates to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Regulation were introduced on February 16, 2018.

Municipal Enforcement and RCMP

Municipal Enforcement will be responsible for:

  • bylaw infractions
  • neighbourhood complaints

RCMP will be responsible for:

  • underage use
  • public intoxication
  • driving while under the influence