There is a lot of interest from St. Albert residents about the municipality's role in cannabis legalization, so I've made a point to familiarize myself with provincial and federal regulations, and with the Alberta cannabis legislation: detailed engagement report. I also attended the AUMA Leader's Caucus in Edmonton yesterday, where many municipalities expressed concerns about expenses relating to the end of prohibition.
For those familiar with the information about the regulations already in place (see below), I'd like to know your thoughts on public consumption, and any thoughts about business licensing or land use above the regulations set forth by other levels of government. I'll also share the survey and education campaign being undertaken by the city when it's released.
Directly from the Alberta Cannabis Framework FAQ Sheet:
Only those 18 years or older will be allowed to buy or use cannabis.
Cannabis retailers will be required to ID all customers and minors will not be allowed in cannabis stores.
For those under 18, the province will take a zero-tolerance approach for possession and use. Police will be able to seize small amounts of cannabis from minors, notify their parents or guardians, and issue tickets. Possession of more than 5 grams by minors will remain a criminal offence.
The government will deliver public education to encourage responsible use and make people aware of health risks.
Adults may smoke or vape cannabis at home and in some public places, but not in vehicles, any cannabis retail outlets, anywhere smoking or vaping tobacco is already prohibited, or in specific areas frequented by children, including school and hospital properties and within five metres of skate parks, spray parks, and playgrounds.
Landlord and tenant agreements or condo bylaws can be used to set rules for consumption and growing.
Licence suspensions and vehicle seizures that apply to alcohol-impaired driving have been extended to cannabis impairment. There will be zero tolerance for those on graduated licences. Cannabis consumption will not be allowed in vehicles.
Cannabis retailers may be open between 10 a.m. and 2 a.m. and must keep cannabis products in a locked display case accessible only by staff. However, municipalities can further restrict these hours.
Cannabis retail outlets must be 100 meters away from schools and provincial health care facilities. Municipalities will have the discretion to modify or add further buffers from these or other uses.
Cannabis advertising will be restricted to locations with no minors. The federal government has also proposed strict rules about labeling and packaging. The Alberta government will monitor the specifics of their proposed program and work with them to address any issues or gaps in policies should they arise.
Retail Business Requirements (AGLC)
Directly from the AGLG Retail Cannabis Licensing Information:
The following fees are due at the time of application, which will take 2-4 months to process:
- $400 non-refundable application fee for each store location
- $700 annual licence fee
- $3,000 initial deposit for background checks; additional costs may be added; the AGLC will refund the unused amount
The retail location must have:
- a point-of-sale area
- a shipping/receiving area that is separate from other businesses
- a secure storage area
- an alarm system
- a video surveillance system
- a secure product display
From the St. Albert Smoking Bylaw:
Smoking (using an ignited cigarette, cigar or pipe or electronic cigarette, vaporizer cigarette, personal vaporizer, etc.) is prohibitted in:
- bus shelters,
- in a building (excluding private residences),
- within 5m metres of any doorway, window or air intake of a Building, Outdoor Pool, Playground, or Seasonal Skating Rink, Skate Park, Sports Field when it is being used for its intended purpose.
- on the grounds of an Outdoor Public Event, except in an area reserved for motor vehicle parking or an area specifically reserved for smoking.
- On a restaurant/lounge patio
For a Senior's Living Facility that provides a smoking area:
- the Designated Smoking Area <must be> fully ventilated and enclosed such that no smoke escapes there from to any place where Smoking is prohibited,
- common use areas of the Seniors’ Living Facility (including but not limited to washrooms, waiting rooms, meeting rooms, recreation facilities, eating areas, cloak rooms, hallways and other such areas) do not form any part of a Designated Smoking Area;