The Municipality of Jasper wants the community’s input on cannabis.
When cannabis becomes legal in Alberta later this summer, some decisions on how to regulate the drug’s use and sale will be left up to municipalities. To help inform recommendations to council, a cannabis working group is proposing to create a survey which may soon be rolled out to residents.
“The municipality has a fair bit of leeway when it comes to consumption, for example,” explained Christine Nadon, manager of legislative services for MOJ. “Before we create new legislation, we want to see what the community thinks.”
Alberta has opted to use its tobacco-use model, rather than its liquor-consumption model, to steer its cannabis use guidelines. That means if the town doesn’t draft its own regulations, a cannabis user could light up as they walk down the street, for example.
Besides public consumption locations, the survey, currently in draft form, asks Jasperites whether they think cannabis retail stores should be allowed at street level, whether or not there should be limits on the number of stores and what sort of operating hours cannabis retail stores should keep. The draft survey also contains questions to do with creating additional enforcement resources. Under the new provincial framework, enforcement costs would be paid by local taxation.
Nadon said Jasper’s unique status as a municipality within a national park will mean if variances to the provincial laws are required, the town and Parks Canada will have to work together to apply for them.
“We want to get the conversation started,” Nadon said. “How prohibitive or permissive local bylaws should be is what we would like to ask the public about.”
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