The City of Lacombe is taking a proactive step to be ready for the legalization of cannabis.
Once marijuana becomes legal starting Canada Day 2018, City administration says changes will be felt when it comes to land use, development and permitting, policing, and with internal policies.
City council has approved what's called the Cannabis Readiness Committee, a group which will work to identify any actions the City is required to take as it pertains to bylaws, policies and operational standards.
Acting Director of Planning and Operations Jordan Thompson says there is a lot of work to do ahead of July 1.
“If the committee looks at the schedules and feels we need more time to review the legislation and ensure we implement something that’s right for Lacombe, we'll have to look at what we're going to do in the interim,” he says. “It could be like something like the City of Edmonton has done in terms of just not allowing cannabis at all in the community until such time they’re able to make the changes they need.”
Thompson is referring specifically to retail sales, industrial growing operations and/or cannabis lounges which could be delayed temporarily if city council simply decided not to include them in the list of permitted uses.
The Cannabis Readiness Committee has 11 members, including the CAO, two city councillors, the chief of police, other City staff, and the director of FCSS.
In May, the committee will present the Cannabis Readiness Implementation and Monitoring Plan to city council.
The public will have more opportunity to provide its feedback leading up to July 1.
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