At this time, marijuana or cannabis dispensaries are illegal and are not licensed or permitted by the City of Edmonton.
City staff are taking proactive measures to prepare for upcoming federal changes regarding the legalization of cannabis and the alignment with the Zoning Bylaw 12800.
Municipal controls in this area are only possible if other orders of government provide that role to municipalities.
It is anticipated that federal legalization could occur as early as the summer of 2018; however, it could require additional time to implement legislation at the federal, provincial and possibly, the municipal level.
The Government of Canada website has additional information on the federal legalization and regulation of cannabis.
The Government of Alberta has recently launched a formal engagement process to solicit Albertans’ views on how to adapt to cannabis legalization. Additional information can be found on the Government of Alberta website.
This project is currently at the Proposed Amendment stage.
City staff have prepared text amendments to Zoning Bylaw 12800 to regulate cannabis related activities.
The text amendments will be presented to City Council at the June 28, 2017 Public Hearing meeting.
Non-medical production, sale and use of cannabis is illegal and is not licensed or permitted by the City of Edmonton.
Development without a permit or development in contravention of a permit is subject to penalties and fines. More details on fines are listed under Enforcement and Penalties.
The City of Edmonton currently reviews Development Permit applications for uses and businesses associated with cannabis through the following areas:
Commercial licensed producers of medical cannabis, authorized by Health Canada. This use is classified as a General Industrial Use in the Zoning Bylaw 12800. No licences for this purpose within the City of Edmonton have been issued to date.
Retail stores that sell cannabis-related products/paraphernalia, but not cannabis or cannabis derived products. This use is classified as in the Zoning Bylaw 12800.
Health services and businesses that: consult on the use of medical cannabis, provide prescriptions for medical cannabis, and provide information to access medical cannabis. This use is classified asin the Zoning Bylaw 12800.
At the March 14, 2017, Executive Committee meeting, City staff were directed to prepare minor amendments to the Zoning Bylaw 12800 to prepare for possible marijuana legalization by the federal government.
The proposed changes to the Zoning Bylaw 12800 include:
Introducing definitions to ensure the Zoning Bylaw 12800 is ready for the introduction of legalization of cannabis sales and consumption, including classifications for Cannabis Retail Sales and Cannabis Lounges.
Clarifying which existing definitions do not include the production or sale of marijuana related products.
The proposed changes do not include a framework for Cannabis Retail Sales or Cannabis Lounges at this time, as this activity remains illegal.
The intent of the proposed classifications is to separate these uses from other classifications in the Zoning Bylaw 12800, such as General Retail Stores or Bar and Neighbourhood Pubs.
At this time the City is not adding the uses Cannabis Retail Sales or Cannabis Lounges to any zones. The proposed amendments are stage 1, with stage 2 coming at a later date, after stakeholder consultation, and in conjunction with federal legalization and provincial distribution legislation.
It is an offence to operate uses or businesses without first having obtained a Development Permit.
A Development Permit is also required when adding a use or changing the intensity of a use or business, such as adding a General Retail Store use to a Health Service, or expanding the floor area of your business.
A person who is guilty of an offence may be subject to a minimum penalty of $1,000 for a first offence, and a minimum penalty of $2,500 for each subsequent offence.
Visit our development permits page for more information on obtaining a Development Permit.
For information on enforcement and penalties, please visit.