Cannabis legislation

Gloved hands holding a cannabis leaf.

Legalization of cannabis

Under the federal Cannabis Act, Cannabis will be legal for adults across Canada beginning October 17, 2018.

Strathcona County is working to manage the legalization of cannabis in the best interests of our community. 

As this is a new situation for all municipalities across Canada, Strathcona County is choosing to assess our community's response once cannabis is legalized, before enacting further changes to municipal bylaws relating to the smoking or vaping of cannabis.

Strathcona County will continue to monitor any developments or changes to the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act and other provincial and federal legislation. 

There are important federal and provincial rules you need to know for the legal and responsible use of cannabis.

Consuming cannabis

Beginning October 17, 2018, Albertans (18 years of age and older) will be allowed to smoke/vape cannabis in certain areas.

Rules on cannabis use will vary between provinces, and between different municipalities in Alberta.

In Strathcona County, Alberta's legislation and regulations apply.

In an effort to protect children and limit second-hand exposure, public smoking or vaping of cannabis in Alberta will be prohibited from any place where tobacco is restricted, and in the following places:

  • Public buildings/enclosed areas
  • Building common areas
  • Group living facilities
  • Outdoor bus or taxi shelters
  • Licensed premises and restaurants
  • Workplaces
  • Hotels
  • Hospital/school/childcare facility property
  • From any motor vehicles, with the exception of those being used as a temporary residence, such as a parked RV
  • In or within 5 metres of:
    • Outdoor theatres
    • Outdoor pools or splash parks
    • Skateboard or bicycle parks
    • Playgrounds
    • Sports or playing fields
    • A doorway/window/air intake of a public building, enclosed area or a workplace
    • Zoos

Legislation establishes provincial offences for public consumption infractions and consumption of cannabis in vehicles. (Refer to the Act's general offence section 116 for more details).

It remains illegal under the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act to be intoxicated in a public place; and under the Criminal Code and the Alberta Traffic Safety Act to drive while impaired. The Government of Alberta's Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act has a framework and legislation for the legal and responsible use of cannabis by Albertans. 

Possessing cannabis 

In Alberta, beginning October 17, 2018, adults (18 years and older) will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of legally produced dried-cannabis or equivalent volume in non-dried form.

When transporting cannabis in a vehicle, it must be secured in closed packaging and not within reach of the driver or other occupants.

For more information relating to the possession of cannabis, visit the Government of Alberta's website

Buying cannabis

Beginning October 17, 2018, Albertans (18 years of age and older) will have two options for legally purchasing recreation cannabis:

For more information on buying cannabis, visit the Government of Alberta's website.

Government roles

While the legalization of cannabis is a federal decision, provinces and municipalities each have areas of responsibility.

Information on this table can be found on the Government of Alberta website, under the link provided below.

Table source:

Recreational cannabis - retail store application

Details on licensing and establishing a cannabis retail operation are now available from the provincial government. Physical retail locations will be subject to provincial government regulations and the terms of licenses granted by the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission.

A municipal development permit is required before a company can be issued a provincial cannabis retail license. Strathcona County is now accepting retail permit applications.

On April 24, Council approved changes to the Land Use Bylaw to address and place land use regulations on retail cannabis outlets. The process for applying for a retail cannabis outlet in Strathcona County will be the same as applying for other provincially regulated outlets, such as liquor stores. 

For more details, please see the development permit application checklist for retail cannabis (183.5 KB)  and Cannabis retail store permit FAQs.

Cannabis - growing and processing

All businesses must first obtain a development permit before operating in Strathcona County. Applicants must apply to the federal government for a licence and receive all the necessary approvals to become a licensed producer for medical purposes.

As a discretionary use, the Development Authority has the opportunity to consider if what is being proposed is compatible and an appropriate scale of development on a site by site basis as well as taking into consideration feedback from adjacent landowners.

Strathcona County's Land Use Bylaw has been updated to address and place land use regulations on licensed cannabis growing, production, distribution and processing facilities, to reflect changes in federal regulations.

Under federal legislation, Canadians wishing to cultivate a small personal supply of cannabis would be able to purchase their seeds from a provincially regulated retailer. Canadians will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence for personal use from licensed seeds or seedlings.

Renters, condo-dwellers and those who live in multi-family dwellings might be restricted from growing cannabis in their homes based on rules established in rental agreements or condominium bylaws. 

Visit the Government of Alberta website for more information.


Consumer information - cannabis (70.2 KB)

Report illegal use

Strathcona County RCMP and Enforcement Services

Last updated: Monday, March 18, 2019
Page ID: 50151