By Cole Parkinson
With cannabis becoming legal in Canada this past October, the Municipal District of Taber is continuing to make amendments to their bylaws.
M.D. of Taber Bylaw 1941 — Cannabis Retail Store and Production Facility, has seen further changes after receiving first reading passed unanimously during their October 9 regular meeting.
As part of the amendments, a public hearing was needed and was scheduled for M.D.’s regular meeting on Dec. 9.
“Since council did first reading, we have got some information about what constitutes a school. I would like to make an amendment to section eight just to clarify that the setback for schools does not include homeschooling or what the Alberta School Act defines as a home education program,” said Bonnie Brunner, Oldman River Regional Services Commission senior planner, during the public hearing. “Certainly if someone was to come to the Development Authority to provide information, but this way the M.D. doesn’t have to track all of these home schools.”
In Sec. 8 Locational Criteria and Requirements for a Retail Cannabis Store it states ‘A retail cannabis store shall not be approved if any portion of an exterior wall of the store is located within 328 feet (100 metres) of: the boundary of a parcel of land on which a provincial health care facility is located, including any associated grounds; the boundary of a parcel of land containing a school (public or private as defined in the School Act, excluding a home education program), including any associated school grounds; the boundary of a parcel of land that is designated as school reserve (SR) or municipal and school reserve (MSR) under the Municipal Government Act and the boundary of a municipal or provincial owned parcel of land on which a park, playground, campground, or recreation area is located.’
Further updates in Bylaw No. 1941 include classifying a retail cannabis store as a Discretionary Use in the Designated Hamlet Commercial, and classifying a cannabis production facility as a Discretionary Use in the Rural Agricultural.
This includes establishing a minimum setback requirement for a retail cannabis store of 100 metres from a hospital, school, school and municipal and school reserve (SR & MSR), and municipal or provincial land that contains a park, playground, campground, or recreation area.
It also establishes a minimum setback requirement of 150 metres between retail cannabis stores.
The bylaw also takes into account various definitions for a retail cannabis store, cannabis production facility, cannabis itself, cannabis accessories and provincial health care facilities, while clarifying that a home occupation use and retail sales use does not include sale of cannabis and cannabis accessories.
An intensive horticultural operation/facility does not include a cannabis production facility, and establishes use specific development and application requirements for a cannabis retail store and cannabis production facility, including such varied responsibilities as obtaining licenses, possessing documentation demonstrating compliance with provincial requirements governing store premises and business naming and signage, and information requirements for cannabis production facilities to ensure potential odours and impacts of processes are minimized.
No comments or objections came forward regarding the bylaw and no one was present at the public hearing in council chambers.
A motion for second reading as amended was passed unanimously and council also passed third reading unanimously.