At the Cold Lake Corporate Priorities Committee meeting on March 20, 2018 Administration recommended that the Corporate Priorities Committee recommend Bylaw 624-LU-18 (the bylaw to regulate cannabis-related businesses) as presented, but after a lot of discussion and debate Council asked for changes to be made to the draft bylaw.
DRAFT BYLAW as Administration recommended:
1) A Cannabis Retail Store shall not be located:
(a) Within 100 meters of the boundary of a parcel of land on which any of the
following are located:
(i) A “provincial heath care facility” (meaning hospitals as defined in
the Hospitals Act);
(ii) Any building containing a “school” (meaning a school as defined in
the School Act);
(iii) Any parcel of land designated as school reserve or municipal and
school reserve in accordance with the Municipal Government Act;
(iv) land designated as BD-Beach District, IP-Imperial Park District or
(v) A Liquor Store;
(vi) Another Cannabis Retail Store.
Council requested (v), and (vi), be taken out. Cold Lake City Councillor Bob Buckle said, “In this town, we have liquor stores everywhere. Why can’t there be a cannabis retail store by a liquor store?”
Cold Lake City Councillors wanted a broader definition of the words “a provincial health care facility” that appear in 1(a)(i), and Cold Lake City Councillor Vicky Lefebvre asked that daycare homes be considered as a place where there should be a 100-metre boundary.
There was a tie vote on whether to put cannabis related businesses under the city’s direct control. Cold Lake City Councillor Bob Buckle explained, “By placing that requirement, that means that no matter where they want to go, Council and the community, would have a chance to know where it goes, what it will look like, and what kind of conditions we are going to allow it to operate under. It may be easier to control and approve this way, then to try and make everything fit into a puzzle.”
Councillors who voted yes to direct control were Bob Buckle, Kirk Soroka, and Vicky Lefebvre. Lefebvre said, “For the first ones going through, we should have direct control”.
City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland voted no, and stated, “Parking will be the biggest asset to people in this business because it’s all about volume. Getting people in and out. The ones who will be successful will be because of location and parking”.
Councillors Chris Vining, and Jürgen Grau also voted no to direct control. Because it was a tie vote, Council will bring it to the next round of discussions.
During the evening, Council also discussed regulating cannabis use. Cold Lake City Councillor Chris Vining was of the opinion that, “If it’s the rule for alcohol, it should be the rule for pot.”
Cold Lake City Councillor Bob Buckle and Jürgen Grau were in agreement with Vining. Of the three options presented by Administration, Council showed the most support for the last of the three options which stated:
- Most restrictive approach – Incorporate the mandatory cannabis use restrictions plus prohibit smoking and vaping
cannabis or cannabis use entirely where alcohol use is restricted (ie prohibit cannabis in all public spaces). Section 89(1)
of the Gaming and Liquor Act, RSA 2000, c G-1 prohibits use and consumption of alcohol “in a public place or any place
other than a residence, temporary residence, licensed premises or a place or class of place prescribed in the regulations
where liquor may be used or consumed.”
The Mayor and Councillors discussed including public feedback and input on the proposed new bylaws and voted for an open house for the public that will happen in April 2018.