Cold Lake Ready for Legalization

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The City of Cold Lake has passed its cannabis bylaw at this week’s council meeting. Mayor Craig Copeland says with the passing of the bylaw the city is now ready for legalization, which is expected October 17th.

The mayor explained that with legalization comes the question of where will people be able to consume.

In general terms, the city expanded its bylaws to include cannabis, and treat consumption like alcohol. That means no form of public smoking.

“You can’t walk down main street with an open bottle of booze, you won’t be able to smoke cannabis either,” said Copeland.

Cannabis cannot be consumed in vehicles or in cannabis retail outlets. It can only be consumed on private property. Cold Lake took a similar approach to Calgary’s more restrictive approach to regulation.

“The big debate was in regards to outdoor events or concerts inside the Energy Centre.”

It will be up to the concert promoter to prepare for such situations with the city – or if an outdoor “cannabis lounge” will be used.

“It will be a separate space, like a smoking area, where people can consume,” explained Copeland.

The next element to determine is how far away the cannabis lounge will be from the building, and from the tobacco smoking area.

“That will be CAO approval,” he said. Those requests will be made to City Administration and won’t come to council.

Mayor Copeland added that there have been a few people that have shown interest in opening cannabis retail locations and the city is ready to work with them should they decide to open come October 17th.

“I think the only issue we’ll have is neighbour to neighbour; the odour.” Should the mayor’s prediction come to be, council may have to have a discussion regarding odour.

“Right now, we’re good and everything is in place. We can allow the RCMP and the bylaw officers to see our bylaws and get ready for what would be, if any infractions.”

For more information on the bylaw visit the City of Cold Lake online, coldlake.com.