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Cannabis and Zoning FAQ

Retail Cannabis Stores

Updated June 12, 2018

Bylaw 6123 proposes text amendments to the Land Use Bylaw that would allow Retail Cannabis Stores to be developed in our community.  City Council gave it first reading on May 14, 2018. A Public Hearing on the Bylaw was held on June 11, 2018


City Council will debate and vote on the bylaw at their regular meeting on June 25th


Bylaw 6123 provides a definition for 'Retail Cannabis Stores', sets out three development rules (including a rule that Retail Cannabis Stores must be a minimum 100m from schools, future schools, and hospitals) and would allow the stores as permitted uses in the five most common Commercial districts in the city.  To get an idea of where (approximately) Retail Cannabis Stores would not be allowed because they may be too close to a school, future school, or hospital you can check out these maps Separation Mapping – Retail Cannabis Stores.


City Council held a public discussion on Cannabis Legalization on May 28, 2018.  This was an opportunity for Lethbridge residents to hear from a panel of experts to learn about cannabis legalization and what it means for our community. You can watch the community meeting online.


Cannabis for Medical Purposes

Federal legislation allows only two methods of obtaining cannabis for medical purposes (medical marijuana).  A person who has a prescription for medical cannabis may grow a limited number of plants for their personal use or may designate someone else to grow them.  Alternatively, a person must obtain their prescribed cannabis from a federally 'Licensed Producer' who ships the product directly to them by mail.  No other dispensing/distribution method, such as 'compassion clubs' or 'medical marijuana dispensaries', is allowed.  The City of Lethbridge cannot issue a development permit for a compassion club or a dispensary or any type of storefront selling cannabis for medical purposes. 


Cannabis Production

Federal legislation also governs the large scale production of cannabis for medical purposes.  Applicants must undergo a rigorous review process in order to become a 'Licensed Producer of Cannabis for Medical Purposes'.  Currently there are 104 Licensed Producers in Canada, six of them in Alberta.  Under Land Use Bylaw 5700 Licensed Producers are considered "Manufacturing, Intensive".  This is allowed only in the I-H (Heavy Industrial) district and in the I-G (General Industrial) district.  


Questions?

For more detailed information, contact:
Planning and Development services at 403-320-3920
 or developmentservices@lethbridge.ca