The Town of Banff is seeking input from its residents and stakeholders on the use and sale of cannabis in the national park community, in advance of the federal government and provincial government introducing legislation regarding the legalization and regulation of the product.
As a first step, council passed Bylaw Amendment 420, which defined uses related to the sale and distribution of cannabis and related products. Specific use definitions in the Land Use Bylaw allow council to regulate pending or interim applications for cannabis-related uses once federal and provincial laws have come into full effect.
The survey results will help council determine how to move forward in regulating use and sale of cannabis that best meets the needs of the Banff community and its visitors.
Several factors will be considered when developing the regulations, says Director of Planning and Development Randall McKay, including Banff’s status as a national park community and as part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site. For example, provincial legislation that allow for licensed, privately owned cannabis stores will not automatically apply in Banff. A separate process called Instrument of Entrustment, which requires consent from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change through Parks Canada may be required.
“We’d like to hear from our residents and visitors on their expectations and needs, given our unique constraints” said McKay. “We are asking for feedback on items such as where cannabis should and should not be used, and where cannabis retail stores should or should not be located.”
More information on cannabis use and sales in Alberta municipalities can be found on the town’s website, banff.ca/policyreview
along with a link to the survey. The survey closes March 17. Council is expected to review the results at a meeting in late April.