Lacombe preparing for the legalization of cannabis

The City of Lacombe is considering banning the consumption of recreational marijuana in public spaces.

A public hearing is scheduled for August 13 at Lacombe City Hall starting at 5:30 p.m.

Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey said the upcoming legalization of recreational cannabis has a broad connection to municipal service levels, the impact of which will not be fully realized until the legalization is official.

Lacombe council gave first reading to the bylaw on Tuesday that covers new definitions and changes to the existing definitions of cannabis, and the land use districts where cannabis sales and production may be located when federally legal.

The Cannabis Readiness Committee (CRC), a council advisory committee, recommended prohibiting consumption of recreational marijuana in public spaces and cannabis retail stores be permitted in downtown and transitional commercial spaces.

The committee wants to ensure the municipality is prepared for the legalization of cannabis come August.

“We have been reviewing a number of the proposed federal and provincial regulations to determine the impacts that this new legislation will have on the city,” said chief administrative officer Matthew Goudy. “Generally speaking, we expect an uptick in permit applications, and increased demand for bylaw and police resourcing.”

The city will begin accepting applications for the retail sale, commercial production and processing of cannabis in Lacombe after council approves the bylaw.

Municipal staff will begin preliminary work on any applications received so that when the federal government proceeds with legalization, applications can be processed efficiently. However, because cannabis uses remain illegal up until October 17, no decisions or referrals to the municipal planning commission will be made on applications until then.

To access the cannabis readiness committee recommendations on the retail sale, commercial production and processing of cannabis in Lacombe, and to provide your feedback, go to www.lacombe.ca/cannabis.

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