Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Cannabis Consumption Bylaw
Review the Cannabis Consumption Bylaw and provide feedback.

First reading of the Town of Hanna Cannabis Bylaw #998-2018 was given September 11, 2018. Council will consider second and final reading at the October 9th Council Meeting and are asking for citizen input.

Both the Federal and Provincial Governments have passed Acts regarding the possession and consumption of cannabis. The Government of Canada has passed the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) an Act respecting Cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts, which will permit persons to possess cannabis. The Province of Alberta has enacted an Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis which will place restrictions on the smoking or vaping of cannabis in public places.

The Province of Alberta has put in place regulations for the public consumption of cannabis which are listed below:

  • Albertans will be allowed to consume cannabis in their homes and in some public spaces where smoking tobacco is allowed but use will be banned in vehicles.
  • In an effort to protect children and limit second hand exposure, public smoking or vaping of cannabis in Alberta will be prohibited from any place where tobacco is restricted, and in the following:
    • On any hospital property, school property or child care facility property
    • In or within a prescribed distance from:
      • A playground
      • A sports or playing field
      • A skateboard or bicycle park
      • A zoo
      • An outdoor theatre
      • An outdoor pool or splash pad
    • From any motor vehicles, with the exception of those being used as a temporary residences, such as a parked RV
    • There will be no consumption of cannabis at any cannabis retail outlets

The province will establish provincial offences for public consumption infractions and consumption of cannabis in vehicles.

Municipalities have the ability to create additional restrictions on public consumption. With this in mind administration, with preliminary direction from Council, drafted Bylaw 998-2018 Cannabis Consumption Bylaw for first reading. Administration has reviewed a number of other municipality's cannabis consumption bylaws and from research it appears that most if not all of Alberta municipalities to date have taken a very consistent restrictive approach to the public consumption of cannabis. Town of Hanna Bylaw 998-2018 the Cannabis Consumption Bylaw is very similar to other Consumption Bylaws approved to date in Alberta.

Highlights of the Town of Hanna Bylaw include:

  • A person must not smoke, vape or consume what appears to be Cannabis in any public place within the Town limits. This restriction also includes any person who is entitled to possess cannabis pursuant to a medical document pursuant to the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, SOR/2016-230. (Most Municipal Bylaws researched allow medical consumption of cannabis in public places subject to the Provincial restrictions and or their own Municipal Smoking Bylaws if they are stricter).
  • Public Place is defined as "any place within the municipality to which the public may have either expressed or implied access, and; any motor vehicle located in a public place or in any place open to public view".
  • Event organizers can apply for a permit to allow people attending an event to smoke, vape or consume cannabis at an event provided the event organizers meet the conditions established in the Bylaw.
  • The specified penalty for an offence committed pursuant to this Bylaw is established as follows:
    • Corporations, companies, partnership, proprietorship, Society $1,000.00
    • Individual $ 250.00

You are asked to submit your input to the Town Office, preferably in writing, no later than October 4th.

The bylaw can be viewed here: Cannabis Consumption Bylaw #998-2018

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