There's more work to be done in Lacombe to finalize regulations around retail cannabis sales.
To date, The City and city council have taken a vastly different approach to where cannabis shops will be allowed compared to most other communities in central Alberta.
Instead of applying setbacks from schools and healthcare facilities, the proposal is to make these kinds of shops permitted in most areas.
This week, council passed second reading of their bylaw following a lively public hearing.
“It is important to have very clear definitions in the Land Use Bylaw around cannabis to ensure proposed uses are located where council, after considering the Cannabis Readiness Committee’s recommendations and public feedback, deems appropriate,” said Mayor Grant Creasey. “Our goal is to provide a legislative framework that will attract business from an emerging industry to Lacombe, while acknowledging that public intoxication and consumption are not acceptable, similar to the current treatment of the sale and consumption of liquor.”
Third reading will come back to council on September 10 with a number of new amendments.
It will be proposed to make retail cannabis a permitted use in the C4 (Highway Commercial) and C5 (Shopping Centre) districts, as opposed to discretionary.
Other amendments will provide site exceptions -- one in the I1 (Light Industrial) district at 40 Brownstone Road where it would be prohibited to produce, distribute or sell cannabis. I1 is otherwise being proposed as an area where retail cannabis will be a permitted use.
The other site exception is for the Winks convenience store at 5536 58 Street, which would be exempt from from selling liquor or cannabis products, regardless of whatever zoning changes are made for that area.
It is already proposed for retail cannabis to be a permitted use within C1 (Downtown Commercial), C3 (Transitional Commercial) and I1. It remains proposed to make it discretionary in C2 (Neighbourhood Commercial) and DC2 (Direct Control).
Retail sales will not be allowed until October 17, 2018, but store owners who receive approval from The City can begin stocking and preparing to open.
More details are at Lacombe.ca/cannabis.
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