Alberta’s municipalities are concerned about health and safety issues relating to medical marijuana production facilities.
In order to develop recommendations on this important topic, AUMA created a working group that included first responders such as fire and police) as well as municipal administrators. These recommendations were submitted for the provincial and federal governments’ consideration.
AUMA learned that there are a number of things that municipalities can do such as passing bylaws to regulate the siting and operation of medical marijuana production facilities. A number of municipalities have already taken the initiative in passing bylaws that them to control the siting of medical marijuana production facilities through zoning.
Municipalities need to have greater engagement in the licensing and inspection processes and administrative policies and processes that provide controls and checks need to be formalized through regulations. This is important in order to ensure that minimum standards are maintained on an ongoing basis. As well, we need to formalize lines of communication between federal/provincial/municipal governments, law enforcement and other first responders, and the general public regarding grow-ops and remediation.
In addition to the production of medical marijuana, new potential challenges have been identified given the federal government’s move towards the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. A federal taskforce has been established to inform the creation of a new regulatory system to this effect, and AUMA provided them with input in August 2015 reflecting municipal needs and concerns.