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Cannabis and Zoning FAQ

​​​​​Are Medical Marijuana Dispensaries ​or Compassion Clubs allowed in Lethbridge?

  • No. That kind of medical marijuana dispensing/distribution is a Criminal Offence.
  • Federal legislation allows only two methods of obtaining medical marijuana. A person who has a prescription for medical marijuana may grow a limited number of plants for their personal use. Alternatively, a person may obtain their prescribed marijuana from a Federally Licensed Producer who ships the product directly to them by mail. No other dispensing/distribution method is allowed. The Federal Government regulates these activities through the “Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations​”.
  • The City regulates Licensed Production facilities through the Land Use Bylaw.

Are Medical Marijuana Consultancies allowed in Lethbridge?

  • Yes. Providing advice on use of medical marijuana is legal.
  • A Consultancy typically refers someone seeking treatment to a physician authorized to prescribe medical marijuana, a Licensed Producer able to provide it, and advises on the best strain, dosage, and delivery method. A Consultancy is not permitted to dispense marijuana.
  • The City regulates Consultancies through the Land Use Bylaw. The Development Permit specifies strict operational conditions.

Is the sale of Non-medical (Recreational) Marijuana allowed in Lethbridge?

  • ​No. Sale of non-medical marijuana is a Criminal Offence.

Could you summarize that?

  • The City of Lethbridge will not issue a Development Permit or Business License to a business that dispenses or distributes marijuana for medical or non-medical purposes. That is illegal.
  • The City will only issue a Development Permit and Business License for a Federally Licensed Production Facility (which by federal law can only dispense/distribute marijuana by mail) or a Consultancy (which by federal law is not allowed to dispense/distribute marijuana).
  • This will remain so until new Federal legislation makes marijuana legal (anticipated in spring/summer of 2018​).

How will the City regulate it once marijuana is legal?

  • That depends how the Provincial and Federal Government chooses to regulate or control distribution. The province has release a ​draft of the framework, to learn more about the draft legislation click here. Once the framework is finalized, Planning and Development Services will be able to explore alternatives for land use controls under the Land Use Bylaw.
  • ​Then, Planning and Development Services will prepare a report for City Council that outlines the bylaw options. If City Council chooses to amend the Land Use Bylaw to regulate marijuana sales and dispensing as distinct activities then Council is required by law to hold at least one public meeting.


For more detailed information, contact:​
Planning and Development services at 403-320-3290