Red Deerians asked to weigh in on cannabis rules

A survey seeking input on rules related to legalization of cannabis posted to City’s website

A survey seeking input on rules in Red Deer related to the legalization of cannabis is posted to the City of Red Deer’s website, and citizens are encouraged to go online and share their thoughts.

The survey comes on the heels of the March 5, 2018, council meeting where City Council gave first reading to a pair of bylaws that outline rules around everything from the distance a recreational cannabis retail store is located from schools, health facilities, liquor stores and recreation facilities, to areas where stores could be located.

The survey focuses on three key areas:

 where recreational cannabis retail stores should (or should not) be located in Red Deer

 where it should be ok (or not ok) to use recreational cannabis

 where home growing should take place

The survey will be posted to The City of Red Deer’s website between March 26th and April 9, 2018. A public hearing will be held on April 16, 2018 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers for residents and stakeholders to present their ideas and concerns about cannabis as it relates to the proposed amendments.

While the survey focuses on the key areas outlined above, the public hearing on April 16, 2018 is related only to the land use bylaw amendments currently being considered, which outlines where cannabis retail stores are located as well as the minimum distance between recreational cannabis retails stores and liquor stores, schools, health and recreational facilities.

The proposed bylaw calls for a 300 metre minimum distance, which is an increase from the Province’s minimum distance of 100 metres, with the exception of post secondary schools remaining at 100 metres.

The bylaw is proposing to limit retail cannabis sales to commercially zoned areas, mostly along Gaetz Ave. and 67th St., and in the downtown.

Responses to the survey will be stripped of any identifying information and will be presented to City Council before it makes its decisions around rules and regulations related to the legalization of cannabis. Public are invited to participate in the survey and/or also submit any general comments as part of the public hearing submission. For more information about public hearings, visit www.reddeer.ca/publichearings.

“While the federal and provincial governments dictate much of what happens as it relates to the legalization of cannabis, we, as a municipality, can implement some rules and regulations that are right for Red Deer,” said Emily Damberger, planning manager. “These land use bylaw amendments are about responding to the needs of our community all while being business friendly and acknowledging the change in federal and provincial legislation.”

Retailers will be licensed by Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC); however, before a license is issued, a development permit must be approved by the municipality. The City of Red Deer is not currently approving any development permits as recreational cannabis is still illegal.

Citizens can complete the survey at www.reddeer.ca/surveys until April 9, 2018.

For more information about the legalization of cannabis, please visit www.reddeer.ca.

-Submitted by the City of Red Deer

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