How to control the sale and use of cannabis in public were high on the agenda for council, May 14, as the municipality continues to prepare to govern the soon-to-be legalized drug. Rules governing where retail outlets can be situated and where and how it can be consumed in public were discussed.

First reading of the Bylaw 13 governing cannabis retail stores, was unanimously supported by council following a presentation by planner Adam Norquist and a brief presentation by Dr. Jason Cabaj, the Calgary Zone's Medical Officer of Health for Alberta Health Services (AHS). No relevant changes have been made since it was first discussed by council in March.

The proposed Cochrane bylaw calls for setbacks of 150 metre from the nearest property line of another cannabis retail store, playground, child care services, day care, hospital, emergency medical facility or school site. The stores will be limited to two signs for the sole purpose of business identification on the same parcel as the premises. There are also lighting requirements outside of the store and in the parking store for safety reasons.

The framework of AHS is more restrictive and calls for setbacks of 300 metres, the same as those established in major Amercian urban centres, including Washington State.

"It's much easier to decrease regulations is much easier than increasing the regulations later," Cabaj explained to council.

Still, he said AHS is supportive of the approach being taken by Cochrane, so far.

Town Planner II Adam Nordquist, who oversaw the bylaw's creation, says they did consider the AHS framework when developing the proposed bylaw but it's been designed to cater to Cochrane's retail realities."

With setbacks established in the proposed bylaw, there is the potential of three to five outlets in downtown Cochrane.

The bylaw also incorporates existing town regulations for the production and distribution of medical-use cannabis

The bylaw goes for second and third reading at the May 28 council meeting. 

Economic Development manager Mike Korman says they are aware of three companies who have contacted the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission with an interest establishing retail operations in Cochrane. The town process will follow at some point and applicants would be working directly with the town's planning department to pursue development permits.

A revised business license bylaw is also currently before council (see upcoming story) and it does not propose a separate or distinct business license fee for cannabis retail stores.

Public Consumption of Cannabis

The town is currently researching how the town smoking bylaw should be altered to govern the smoking or vaporing of cannabis in public.

Jaylene Knight, Legislative Services manager, explained to council they are researching what other municipalities have or are considering putting into place. They are also taking into consideration recommendations of AHS.

That, in combination with an upcoming public engagement, will help shape the proposal bylaw to be considered by council in June. Public consultation is expected to take a month and start in mid-May. 

The City of Calgary has passed a bylaw restricting the consumption of cannabis in any public place once the substance is legalized. The City of Edmonton is weighing three options that range from a full ban to allowing some public consumption. AHS recommends banning consumption in public places.

More Local News

Breaking Out the Birthday Cake at Bearspaw Bench Exhibition

If they were using candles, organizers would have their hands full trying to light 50 of them for the birthday cake they'll be serving at this weekend's Bearspaw Bench Exhibition being held in…

VIDEO: No Greater Love Festival Rocked Cochrane

There was certainly love in the air at last weekend's (August 11 and 12) two-day Christian music festival. Despite the chilly weather, 'No Greater Love' saw roughly 5000 people come out to enjoy…

Bucking Horse Talent Uncovered at Tonight's Futurity

While riders are the main focus of many rodeo events, tonight's 7th annual Foothills Bucking Horse Futurity is all about emerging bucking stock. Futurity competitions not only give insight into the…

Art and Music Come Together at McDougall Mission on Saturday

Artists have embraced the idea of helping preserve the history of the McDougall Stoney Mission Church in a unique way by incorporating charcoal from the burned church into their creations. Some of…

Victim, Shooter Were Driving Eastbound; Tip Line Established

The German tourist shot on Hwy. 1A on Aug. 2 was actually travelling eastbound, not westbound as first believed, and made two brief detours just prior to being shot in the head by a passing motorist…

Many Perfect Moments on Goodship's Cycling Journey

A voyage of spiritual and personal discovery for Rev. Ray Goodship, of the St. Andrew's United Church, is nearing the end. Within a few weeks, he'll be dipping his bike into the waters of the harbour…

VIDEO: Thrills, Spills and First Responders

The 36th annual Calgary Police Rodeo was a smashing success with a record number of attendees and participants. Running two heats of most events, Mike Cavilla, President of the Calgary Police Rodeo…

This Weekend the Bulls are Back in Town

If you are looking for more rodeo action, you will want to take in Cochrane Classic Bull Riding this Saturday night (August 18). For 18 years, the meanest, rankest bulls have put the world's top bull…

Air Quality Health Index Expected to Reach Extreme

Smoke from British Columbia forest fires will continue to put air quality health index at an extremely high level in Cochrane and area and those having difficulty breathing are recommended to find an…

Canadian Families are Feeling the Tax Burden

A new report from the Fraser Institute is not showing good numbers when it comes to comparing income and taxes. According to the report, the average Canadian family pays 43 per cent of their annual… is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide