Town of Falher holds open house to get feedback for future municipal land use bylaw amendment on marijuana legalization

Mac Olsen
Express Staff

Residents of Falher are encouraged to fill out a survey, as soon as possible, regarding the municipality’s future bylaw on the legalization of marijuana.

The survey is found on the Town of Falher’s website, at Some of the questions include:

3. Where should a cannabis retail store be located?

7. Do you think there should be a separation distance (buffer) requirement between liquor stores and cannabis retail stores?

This is not the only method of collecting feedback.

Council held an open house upstairs in the Falher Regional Recreation Complex in the evening of June 20.

Residents were invited to fill out the survey and councillors answered questions, too. Mayor Donna Buchinksi commented about the need for residents’ input.

“It’s a really important issue,” says the mayor. “Public input will help direct council.”

During their meeting on June 11, council approved the definitions that will go into the municpality’s future bylaw.

The Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency, in Berwyn, has been working on the Town of Falher’s marijuana bylaw since the spring of 2017.

Thomas Deming, a municipal planner with MMSA, was at the open house to discuss the proposed land use bylaw amendment, including two options for a buffer zone for retail stores, and to get public input as well.

Deming had a diagram on display for each. One shows a 100-metre buffer zone from schools and provincial health care facilities. The other is for a 200-metre buffer zone for these facilities.

See Page 19 for these diagrams.

Personal consumption of marijuana will come under the provincial government’s tobacco regulations and, in addition, it will be prohibited on school, hospital and childcare facility properties.

It will also be banned from retails stores, playgrounds, sports fields, skateboard and bicycle parks, splash pads, outdoor pools and in motor vehicles.

The provincial government has developed the Alberta Cannabis Framework, which deals with the legalization of marijuana.

This includes:

. Comprehensive government oversight of distribution and retail.
. Alignment with existing tobacco laws for public consumption.
. Tools to empower law enforcement and employers to ensure safety on roads and at work.

The legalization of marijuana in Alberta also requires updating the regulations under the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. That would happen under Bill 6.

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s website has information about the regulations around retail stores that will be allowed to sell marijuana. That website is located at

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week that the federal legislation to legalize marijuana consumption, under Bill C-45 or the Cannabis Act, would come into effect on Oct. 17. It will legalize and regulate recreational marijuana.

As per a CTV News report, this legislation changes the impaired driving laws to give police new powers to conduct roadside intoxication tests, including oral fluid drug tests, and makes it illegal to drive within two hours of being over the legal limit.

For example, the bill states that having between two and five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood would be a summary criminal conviction, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.


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