Cannabis regulations for High River

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On October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis was made legal in Canada. In response to this, the Town updated its bylaws, policies and processes.

The Town asked for the public’s input on a bylaw to regulate cannabis consumption in public places. The information collected through public engagement was compiled and presented to Council for their consideration with a first draft of the Cannabis Consumption Bylaw. There was also a Public Hearing on October 9, 2018 where Council heard final public concerns and then they completed the final readings of the Cannabis Consumption Bylaw 4554/2018 on October 22.

In May 2018, amendments to the Town’s Land Use Bylaw regulating cannabis-related businesses, including retail stores, growing and processing facilities and cannabis counselling clinics within High River were approved by Council.

September 7: Engagement on the public consumption of cannabis closed

September 24: 

  1. Report on public engagement presented to Council
  2. First reading of cannabis consumption bylaw and smoking bylaw completed

October 9: 

  1. Public Hearing completed
  2. Second and third reading of Bylaw

October 17: Legalization of Cannabis

October 22: Final Reading 

  1. Final reading of Cannabis Consumption Bylaw (passed)

On Monday, May 28, 2018, Town Council approved amendments to the Land Use Bylaw that will enable future retail sales of recreational cannabis in High River when it becomes legal on October 17, 2018.

The Land Use Bylaw amendments align with all associated federal and provincial legislation. It creates appropriate definitions to distinguish retail and production operations and identify appropriate zoning designations, as well as specifies separation distances from sensitive land uses such as school, early childhood programs, public parks, the hospital, and residential areas.

Click below to view a map that illustrates the buffer distances for cannabis-related businesses in relation to schools, parks and medical facilities.

Click below to view a map that shows the locations of proposed and approved cannabis stores.

The Town is accepting development permits for cannabis-related businesses. To apply, please contact the Planning & Development Services Division at or 403.652.2110. Through the applications process, proximity between cannabis stores will be considered to prevent clustering. The community will also have opportunity to appeal any permit application. Learn more about the cannabis business application process.

Please note that non-medical cannabis sale and possession remains illegal until October 17, 2018. Therefore, licenses for retail operations will not be issued until cannabis is legalized by the federal government.

The Government of Canada introduced a bill (Bill C-45) to legalize recreational cannabis in Canada in 2018. The bill outlines a framework to regulate cannabis in Canada and set standards for the health and safety of Canadians, illegal or criminal activities and the responsibilities of the provinces.

In February 2018, the provincial government released legislation and regulations, including their own bill (Bill 26), to further control and regulate cannabis. Bill 26 identifies the roles and responsibilities of municipalities in the legalization of cannabis.

Table Source:

For more information, please visit:

Alberta Government – Alberta’s Approach to Cannabis Legalization: 
Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission – Cannabis: