QPL Articles

Calgary City Council passes new bylaws relating to cannabis retail and consumption

By | April 10, 2018

On April 6, 2018, Calgary City Council voted 10-4 to ban the public consumption of recreational cannabis. In doing so, the City appeared to take a hybrid approach by incorporating aspects of both current alcohol and smoking bylaws.  Specifically, the City has put a prohibition on public consumption (pertaining to possible public intoxication), and incorporated current smoking restrictions (indoor bans due to second-hand smoke).  An exemption applies to prescribed medical users.

How this will affect residents of multi-unit dwellings and tourists to the city remains a concern.  Many current tenants would be unable to consume at home due to existing condominium bylaws or tenancy contracts.  Out of town visitors would face similar challenges if they stay in smoke-free accommodations. In either case, these persons would be legally able to purchase cannabis in Calgary, but be unable to consume it under these bylaws.

The City is expected to re-address the issue in the coming months to debate the merits of designated cannabis consumption areas and so-called “cannabis gardens” at outdoor festivals.

Council also voted to create a new discretionary land use defined as a “Cannabis Store” that will require a development permit and may be subject to community objection.

Generally speaking, the City of Calgary imposed separation distances in addition to those mandated by provincial law to include:

  • a 150 metre separation from the property line of schools and emergency shelters,
  • a 300 metre separation distance from other cannabis stores (depending on zoning),
  • and a 100 metre separation distance from the property line of a municipal or school reserve or school reserve parcel.


These separation distances are subject to Separation Distance Guidelines, and may be subject to reduction in some cases.  Other specific rules will apply to these bylaw changes.

See more at : cbc.ca/ and calgary.ca/


Quarry Park Law will continue to review these bylaws and provide advice to clients as they are announced.

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