Main page content begins here

Current Legal Situation

Right now, it is only legal to use cannabis if you have a medical prescription. Selling cannabis for non-medicinal purposes is still illegal.

The Federal government has passed Bill C-45 to legalize cannabis for sale and/or consumption for non-medicinal purposes. It will only be legal to sell or consume cannabis for non-medicinal purposes after Wednesday October 17, 2018. 

Public Smoking in Edmonton

The City of Edmonton began proactive measures in 2017 to get our city ready for legalization, including updating bylaws, conducting public hearings for cannabis-related rezonings and working with the business community on cannabis retail permits. 

Part of these proactive measures included City Council reviewing Edmonton’s Public Places Bylaw, which outlines where the public can smoke tobacco. The public consumption of cannabis will also be outlined in this same bylaw.

On September 18, 2018, City Council voted on the rules outlining both cannabis and tobacco consumption rules. These rules will take effect on October 17, 2018.

Find out what Edmontonians need to know

Opening a Retail Store

Development Permit Applications Status Updates
The list of cannabis Development Permit applications received as part of the expression of interest and random selection process is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday, providing applicant name, development address, and application status. 

Further details can be found on, selecting "Address Lookup," entering the address information, and choosing the "Applications" tab. You can also select "Cannabis Locations" to see where locations have been approved and areas where buffers from sensitive uses apply.  


Opening a Cannabis Retail Store

The City of Edmonton will begin accepting additional cannabis retail sales development permit applications by email on a first-come, first-served basis beginning August 28, 2018 at 8am. Please review the application process for opening a cannabis retail store for more details.

Commercial Grow and Processing Operations

Zoning Regulations

The City has classified Cannabis Production and Distribution as a General industrial Use (definition, regulation) within the Edmonton Zoning Bylaw 12800. The General Industrial Use classification is restricted to areas zoned industrial and is not permitted in commercially-zoned locations.

The following industrial zones include the General Industrial Use class. Land that is zoned one of the below zones may allow for a cannabis production facility that complies with Zoning Bylaw regulations and receives a federal licence.

  • IB - Industrial Business Zone
  • IL - Light Industrial Zone
  • IM - Medium Industrial Zone
  • IH - Heavy Industrial Zone
  • EIB - Ellerslie Industrial Business Zone
  • EIM - Ellerslie Medium Industrial Zone
  • EETL - Edmonton Energy and Technology Logistics Zone
  • EETM - Edmonton Energy and Technology Park Manufacturing Zone
  • MA, MA1, MA2, MA3 - Municipal Airport Zones
Development and Building Permit Requirements

When you find a potential location for a cannabis production and distribution facility, you can visit the Edmonton maps website to check the zoning of the site.

To apply for a Development Permit, you will need to ensure you provide a complete application.

Commercial Development Permit Application Form

Commercial Industrial Checklist

The Development Officer reviewing your application may require the following additional items:

  1. Environmental Nuisance and Health Impacts Assessment (Section 14.5)
  2. Assessment of Risk of Industrial Activities (Section 14.6)

Note: Applications should also comply with the General Performance Standards when designing screening/security features for the site (Section 57 and Section 58).

Licensing Requirements

Under the proposed Federal Cannabis Act, all producers of cannabis or cannabis products will need to be federally licensed to operate. The Government of Canada will establish application processes and criteria for people who want to become producers of legal recreational cannabis.

Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations

The federal government currently regulates licensed producers of medical cannabis through the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. Find more information about cannabis for medical purposes on the Government of Canada website.

Cannabis will be legal across Canada on October 17, 2018. Learn the rules for using cannabis.

For More Information




End of page content. Please choose between the following five options:

Back to main menu Back to current page menu and content View current page breadcrumb Back to site search Continue to page footer content