Following months of discussion and consultation, Chestermere’s City Council voted on Tuesday not to proceed with a cannabis cultivation bylaw.
“After two rounds of engaging the community, discussions with community members, further research and robust debate, Council decided to step back from this licensing bylaw,” says Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “Many residents took time to tell us that they were not in favour of this proposal. Hearing from our community is vital and that feedback was an important part of the decision.”
The idea for the bylaw was originally raised in October when Council set the other regulations around recreational cannabis.
While federal regulations allow private residents to grow up to 4 plants, the bylaw proposed to provide a licensed and structured program to assist with the regulation of cannabis growth. The intent was to improve home safety, protection for minors and to promote healthy cultivation. The proposed fee for a one year license was $35.
“Recreational cannabis is new territory for all of us, so we wanted to explore everything we could do to ensure that it is grown and consumed in a safe way in Chestermere. That being said, we are committed to hearing from our residents and ensuring our local legislation reflects our community’s needs,” says Mayor Chalmers.
While this bylaw would have been the first of its kind in Alberta, other jurisdictions like Rocky View County and the province of Manitoba are not allowing any type of home cultivation.
Although residents wishing to grow plants will not need a license in Chestermere, the City does have other regulations which include:
- A ban on consumption in public places. Cannabis may only be used in one’s private home or on private property. There is a consumption ban in all public places. A maximum penalty of $10,000 is in place.
- Allowing for the sale of cannabis. The sale of cannabis is only permitted by provincially licensed retailers, and the commercially zoned retail locations have restrictions. These restrictions include setbacks from sensitive uses (schools, child care facilities, the Skate Park, Bike Park, etc.).
For more information on Chestermere’s cannabis regulations, visit www.chestermere.ca/cannabis.