Cannabis Legalization

Where are things at?

The Federal Government has announced that recreational cannabis will be legalized on October 17th, 2018. The Town of Creston wishes to complete additional community consultation to provide Council with the best possible information and regulations to serve our citizens in a manner that fits well with their priorities. A new zoning bylaw is currently in draft stages, providing a unique opportunity to complete public consultation on the zoning bylaw and cannabis legalisation as part of the same process.

While this spring’s Recreational Cannabis Legalization Community Questionnaire (view results here) gives us a snapshot of public opinion, there is still much community consultation to be done in advance of creating long-term local business and land use regulations which reflect the priorities of our citizens. Our land use strategy will be rolled out as part of our upcoming zoning bylaw (Fall 2018) only after further public consultation has taken place. In order to ensure all necessary regulations are in place before cannabis retail business becomes legal, Council has proposed a temporary ban on such businesses until the release of our new zoning bylaw.

What is the purpose of Proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1871, 2018?

View the proposed Bylaw here

To ensure a seamless transition to recreational cannabis legalization in Creston, it is necessary to place a temporary moritorium on cannabis retails stores from acquiring business licenses before our long-term regulations and policies are in place.

Currently, there are no zoning regulations in regards to cannabis related businesses within Town limits. If appropriate Bylaws/Bylaw amendments are not in place in advance of Federal legalization (October 17th), cannabis retail stores would be able to operate in any zone where retails sales are permitted, without appropriate land-use and business regulations in place. Bylaw No. 1871 will give the Town the time necessary to conduct further public consultation and determine the best path forward for our community.

The intent of Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1871, 2018, if adopted, is to:

  1. temporarily prohibit the retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products/derivatives in all zones within Town of Creston boundaries; and,
  2. temporarily prohibit the growing and production of cannabis and cannabis products/derivatives in all zones within Town of Creston boundaries, except lands designated as Agricultural Land Reserve, and except as in accordance with Federal and Provincial authority for personal consumption or personal or designated medical use.

A Public Hearing for Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1871, 2018 will be held on July 17th, 2018 at 4:00pm in Council Chambers.

Next steps

In the Fall of 2018, and following a robust public consultation process,  our new Zoning Bylaw will proceed to Council for readings, a public hearing, and ultimately adoption. The new Zoning Bylaw will repeal and replace Zoning Bylaw No. 1123, 1989, and all amendments thereto, including the proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1871, 2018.

What can Creston regulate?

Most aspects of legalization are the responsibility of the Federal and Provincial governments, but there are some aspects which the Town of Creston anticipates having the ability to regulate. These include:

  • Retail Locations (if any) and Regulations
  • Public Consumption
  • Retail Hours of Operation (if any)
  • Land Use and Zoning
  • Aspects of Home Cultivation for Personal Use