Legalization of cannabis
Cannabis is legal for adults across Canada under the federal Cannabis Act. Strathcona County is working to manage the legalization of cannabis in the best interests of our community.
Strathcona County is assessing our community's response to legalization 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.
Where can I use cannabis in Strathcona County?
For Albertans 18 and over, you can consume cannabis in single-family homes and locations permitted in Strathcona County.
You cannot use it in cars or any motor vehicle, with the exception of those being used as a temporary residence, such as a parked RV.
Cannabis consumption is also governed under company policies as it pertains to employee/employer relationships, as well as by the Alberta Worker's Compensation Board.
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 is prohibited from any place where tobacco is restricted, as well as additional areas. Here's a comprehensive list of prohibited areas:
- Public buildings/enclosed areas
- Building common areas
- Group living facilities
- Outdoor bus or taxi shelters
- Licensed premises and restaurants
- 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
- Sports or playing fields
- A doorway/window/air intake of a public building, enclosed area or a workplace
Cannabis consumption is not allowed at any cannabis retail outlets.
Buying, growing, possessing and consuming cannabis
For more information on buying, growing, possessing and consuming cannabis, visit the Government of Alberta's website.
Are there rules for transporting my cannabis?
- Within Alberta, you are allowed to transport cannabis in a vehicle, but it must be secured in closed packaging and not within reach of the driver or occupants.
- Travelling with recreational cannabis is allowed within Alberta, provided it was purchased from a provincially licensed retailer or grown in your own home under current regulations. However, international travel with recreational cannabis is not allowed regardless of your destination.
- Fines for non-compliance range from $120 - $600 (section 90.25(1) and 90.24 Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Act).
- For more information, please contact Strathcona County RCMP
Report illegal use
Strathcona County RCMP and Enforcement Services
Recreational cannabis - retail store application
Details on licensing and establishing a cannabis retail operation are 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.
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.
- Development permit application checklist for retail cannabis (183.5 KB)
- 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.
While the legalization of cannabis is a federal decision, provinces and municipalities each have areas of responsibility.