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RFD- 3310 Business Items   Item #:   4. b.    
Committee of the Whole Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 05/22/2018  
Title:    Consumption of Cannabis in Public - Wolanski
Department: Community & Protective Services  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Live - A dynamic city with an exceptional quality of life Related Goal: Citizens consistently express high levels of satisfaction with municipal services.

Request for Decision Summary
Administration has prepared information and proposed regulations related to cannabis consumption and is seeking input from Council prior to bringing forward a bylaw for consideration.
Proposed Motion
That the presentation on cannabis consumption regulations be received as information.
Bill 26: An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis was passed by the Alberta Legislature in November 2017 and received royal assent in December 2017.  This legislation gives the AGLC authority for oversight, compliance, retail licensing, enable online sales, and create restrictions on youth possession and public consumption. 

On February 16, 2018, the province released the implementing regulations, which include details regarding minimum locational criteria for Cannabis storefront retail as well as operational requirements of individual businesses.

The location criteria for storefront retail and operational requirements for individual businesses is being addressed through the City's Land Use Bylaw.  The City's planning department made a presentation to Council with proposed recommendations in March of this year with first reading of bylaw changes presented in April.  A public survey was introduced by the City and a public hearing and subsequent readings of the Land Use Bylaw changes are scheduled for May.

Federal regulations are relatively silent on public consumption.  Provincially, the GOA has set the following:
  • Albertans can consume cannabis in their homes and in some public spaces where smoking tobacco is allowed.
  • Use is banned in vehicles.
  • Smoking or vaping will be prohibited from any place tobacco is restricted as well as the following places
  • On any hospital, school property, or child care facility property
  • In or within a prescribed distance from:
  • A playground
  • Sports or playing field
  • A skateboard or bicycle park
  • A zoo
  • Outdoor theatre
  • Outdoor pool or splash pad
  • From any motor vehicles, with the exception of those being used as temporary residences, such as a parked RV
  • There will be no public consumption of cannabis at any cannabis retail outlets
  • Legislation will establish provincial offences for public consumption
In addition to these regulations the GOA has stated that municipalities can create additional restrictions on public consumption using their existing authorities.

The City examined what other municipalities are looking at doing in and around public consumption.  Unfortunately, many are at the same stage the City is at, which is gaining public and Council feedback.  The City also looked at their existing open space and smoking bylaws in relation to this issue.  At this time the City could:
  1. Adopt regulations that align with the GOA regulations only.
  2. Adopt regulations that follow the GOA regulations and align with existing City bylaws.
  3. Adopt regulations that follow the GOA regulations, align with existing City bylaws, and add additional restrictions in regards to certain areas (i.e. City Centre, retail locations, etc).
  4. Adopt regulations that exceed GOA regulations, City bylaws, and are similar to the GOA regulations on alcohol consumption.
Based on research, other comparisons, and information from the City's survey, administration is recommending option 4.  Further information and rationale will be included as part of staff's presentation.
Several municipalities were contacted.  Internally, administration collaborated with a variety of departments including Public Works, Enforcement Services, Recreation, FCSS, RCMP, and Planning.  Other stakeholders were also contacted in addition to the public survey conducted.
Following Council feedback administration, in conjunction with the City's legal advisors, will draft a bylaw and bring forward to Council for consideration in June.  Other City bylaws that require amendments in order for consistency will be brought forward as well.  A public consumption bylaw does not have a legislated requirement for a public hearing.  At the same time, administration will work with our enforcement teams and Corporate Communications to provide information to the public on the City's regulations.
Obvious impacts in and around enforcement of the public consumption bylaw.  A big component of the regulations will be in educating the public and responding to complaints.  The greatest impacts will be seen by our Enforcement Services department, the RCMP, and communications.

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