The County of Wetaskiwin will allow certain types of cannabis facilities within the municipality, but cannabis retail stores won’t be one of them.
County councilors held a public hearing at the Oct. 8 Planning and Development meeting for a Land Use Bylaw Amendment – Cannabis Production, Distribution, and Storage within the County of Wetaskiwin.
Director of Planning and Development David Blades presented a memo to councilors to ponder during the public hearing. “At the Council General meeting held on Tuesday, September 16, 2018, a motion was made ‘that Council approve for Administration to schedule a Public Hearing and amend the Land Use Bylaw as it relates to Cannabis Production, Distribution and Storage to be held at the November 8th, 2018 Council for Planning and Economic Development meeting.’
Blades noted the public hearing was publicly advertised. He pointed out the proposed amendment contained three distinct areas:
Cannabis Production Facility: Definition – means an enclosed building, licensed by the Federal Government, where Cannabis is grown for distribution (for medical or private retail purposes), and typically includes the cultivating, propagating and/or harvesting of the Cannabis plant. Other processes may include the packaging, shipping, testing and storage of Cannabis and Cannabis related products. Growing licenses will be through the Federal Government that will include Federal restrictions on the maximum size of buildings for all three types.
Cannabis Storage and Distribution Facilities: Definition – means an enclosed building, licensed by the Provincial Government, where Cannabis is stored, but not grown (for medical or private retail purposes), and may include processes such as the packaging, shipping, storage and distribution of Cannabis and Cannabis related products.
Cannabis Accessory Store: Definition of Cannabis Accessory Store – means a retail store unlicensed by the Province of Alberta where Cannabis Accessories are sold at the premises and does not include the sale of any Cannabis. b. Definition of Cannabis Accessory – means Cannabis accessory as defined in the Cannabis Act (Canada) and its regulations, as amended from time to time and includes, but is not limited to; rolling papers or wraps, holders, pipes, water pipes, bongs, vaporizers, or anything that is deemed to be used in the consumption of Cannabis.
Blades pointed out the accessory stores will not be permitted to sell cannabis itself. “We’re not putting that forward as an amendment,” said Blades. It was noted councilors agreed on this fact.
Reeve Terry Van de Kraats asked if anyone from the public wished to speak. County farmer Wade Walsh wanted to speak to councilors. He said local farmers who are considering growing cannabis want bylaws that help them, not hinder them. “I have the chance to build something to help the medical industry,” said Walsh.
Assistant CAO Jeff Chipley pointed out that the growing of cannabis is controlled by the federal government.
After the public hearing was closed, councilors unanimously approved the LUB amendment.