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Bylaws   Item #
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
C-999-17 - Second and Third Readings - Land Use Bylaw Text Amendment - Medical Marihuana Production Facilities - Levasseur
Planning & Infrastructure
Strategic Vision Element:
Where People Choose to Grow a Business - A strong, diversified regional business centre
Spruce Grove has a business environment that encourages and supports new business start-ups, helps ensure existing businesses are competitive, successful and profitable, and attracts new businesses to the City.
Request for Decision Summary
Proposed Bylaw C-999-17 amends provisions in the Land Use Bylaw to allow for a new use entitled medical marihuana production facilities as a discretionary use in the M1 General Industrial District. The bylaw also includes several accompanying regulations addressing safety and land use compatibility of these facilities. In addition, several amendments are proposed to existing use definitions in the commercial and industrial districts to close loopholes to prevent the direct sale of marihuana in establishments such as retail outlets and pharmacies.
The bylaw is being proposed by administration to address legislative gaps in the Land Use Bylaw, and therefore is supported by administration.
That second reading be given to Bylaw C-999-17 - Land Use Bylaw Text Amendment - Medical Marihuana Production Facilities.
That third reading be given to Bylaw C-999-17 - Land Use Bylaw Text Amendment - Medical Marihuana Production Facilities.
Regulations addressing the use of medical marihuana were federally adopted in 2001 as the
Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), and were subsequently amended several times to address various court decisions and the broadening use of medical marihuana by medical practitioners. Amendments to MMAR in 2009 and 2010 resulted in increases to the number of licences for production available, at which point many municipalities began receiving inquiries for new facilities thus necessitating development of new municipal land use regulations. The MMAR was eventually repealed and replaced with the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).
In 2015, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) released the Municipal Regulation of Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana Production Facilities report to provide guidance to member municipalities on how to address health and safety issues around medical marihuana production facilities . The report outlines strategies for regulation of production facilities, primarily through land use regulations (zoning) or business licensing. Most Alberta municipalities have adopted regulations through Land Use Bylaws as opposed to relying on the business licensing process. Since the AUMA report was released in 2015, the MMPR has been repealed and replaced with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).
Using the recommendations of the AUMA report, and with reference to the new provisions of the ACMPR, the proposed bylaw will add a new use called Medical Marihuana Production Facility in the M1 General Industrial Land Use District as a discretionary use. Several regulations are also proposed to mitigate potential impacts from the use and to address health and safety concerns. Federal law currently prohibits the direct sale of marihuana in a retail setting, such as from a storefront business or as part of a pharmacy. Therefore, to align with the ACMPR, administration is recommending amendments to the definitions for retail sales, greenhouses, agriculture, and general industrial uses to close potential loopholes around medical marihuana sales in the Land Use Bylaw.
Council should note that the proposed bylaw does not address the production or sale of recreational marihuana. Federal legislation changes to allow for recreational marihuana use by July 1, 2018, require each province to individually decide how to legislate the cultivation and sale of recreational marihuana. As such, additional bylaw amendments will be necessary in the coming year to align with forthcoming provincial legislation.
Council may request changes to the proposed bylaw.
The following is a review of the consultation that has occurred for this application:
The proposed amendment was circulated internally for other departments’ comments. No concerns were received.
A statutory public hearing was held prior to second reading. A public hearing notice for the proposed text amendment appeared in the local newspaper as per the Municipal Government Act. The public hearing notice was also advertised on the City's website.
The bylaw has been reviewed by the City Solicitor, and no changes were suggested.
Upon third reading of the bylaw, the amendments will be consolidated into Land Use Bylaw C-824-12 and posted on the City's website.
The amendments will clarify existing definitions and provide new regulations around medical marihuana production facilities. The bylaw will align the City's regulations with the
Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and allow greater control in commercial land use districts by specifically removing sales of medical marihuana from retail uses like pharmacies.
If amendments to the Land Use Bylaw are not adopted, medical marihuana production facilities would fall under other existing land use types, such as agricultural or general industrial uses. As these uses are permitted uses in some Land Use Districts, the City would have a limited ability to condition a proposed facility or deny an application.