At the St. Paul Town Council Meeting on September 10, 2018, Council held a public hearing regarding amendments to Land Use Bylaw 1251. The amendments detail new and refined definitions regarding the interpretation and sale of cannabis and cannabis-related goods and facilities.
The amendments were first presented at the Council Meeting on July 23 of this year, where first reading of the drafted definitions was passed. The purpose of this public hearing was to hear from any residents in favour of, or opposed to, the new cannabis definitions. Before Council moved to accept the new Bylaw, the public was given an opportunity to speak in relation to the changes. None present were in opposition to the new definitions.
Central Prairie Pharmaceuticals
In favour of the Bylaw was Chris Robley, a stakeholder and spokesperson for Central Prairie Pharmaceuticals (CPP). Robley gave his and CPP’s support towards the drafted definitions. Robley also spoke regarding CPP’s desire to have a cannabis growing operation and storefront in St. Paul.
“As our name implies, Central Prairie Pharmaceuticals isn’t focused on recreational-use cannabis. We provide on cannabis for medicinal use and relief of pain,” Robley said. “So our products aren’t really smokeables, but consumables like oils and edibles.”
If a CPP facility were to exist in St. Paul, Robley assured Council that no effort would be spared regarding safety and security of the building and the community:
“As per Health Canada’s regulations, a CPP facility would have a perimeter fence. We would also have 24-hour, round-the-clock manned security. There is no room for error here. In addition to the security, education regarding cannabis is an important factor in safety as well. We would be thrilled to offer tours of our facility before the cannabis growing operation is in place. We also want to install a viewing room where groups could watch the growing and preparation of cannabis and related product. The viewing room is an important educational piece that would prove valuable to the public.”
Finally, Robley provided details about the benefits of a CPP grow-op and storefront to the local economy:
“One of the best parts about CPP is that we’re not some big, faceless organization from the city or from out east. We’re all local people with an interest in the local economy; we care about the Town. Our facility would provide 15 to 20 jobs for growers, trimmers, and in store clerk positions as well.”
After Robley spoke, Council then moved to accept second and then third readings of the Bylaw. The motion was passed and Council approved the Bylaw. The new and refined definitions are as follows (from Land Use Bylaw 1251):
Part 1 – Interpretation, Subsection 1:3 (New Addition)
•“Cannabis” means cannabis plant, fresh cannabis, dried cannabis, cannabis oil and cannabis plant seeds and any other substance defined as cannabis in the Cannabis Act (Canada) and its regulations, as amended.
• “Cannabis Accessory” means cannabis accessory as defined in the Cannabis Act (Canada) and its regulations, as amended.
• The definitions for “Licensed Medical Marijuana Production Facility” and “Licensed Medical Marijuana Production Facility Premises” be removed and replaced with the following:
“Cannabis Facility” means development used principally for one or more of the following activities as it relates to medicinal or recreational cannabis:
a. the production, cultivation, and growth of cannabis;
b. the processing of raw materials;
c. the making, testing, manufacturing, assembling or in any way altering the chemical or physical properties of semi-finished or finished goods and products;
d. the storage or transshipping of materials, goods and products; or
e. the distribution and sale of materials, goods and products to a Cannabis Store or to individual customers.
This use does not allow the on-site consumption of Cannabis, and does not include Cannabis Store or Retail sales as an Accessory Use.
• “Cannabis Store” means a store licensed by the Province of Alberta, and where all cannabis that is offered for sale or sold must be from a federally approved and licensed facility. This Use does not allow the on-site consumption of cannabis. Cannabis Accessories may be sold or rented, and counselling services may be provided. This Use does not include Cannabis Facility. A Cannabis Store does not apply to any other Use, and shall not be an Accessory Use to any other Use.
All references to “Licensed Medical Marijuana Production Facility” and “Licensed Medical Marijuana Production Facility Premises” will be replaced with the newly defined “Cannabis Facility.”