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Cannabis regulations: City role limited to business licensing and zoning

For immediate release: October 16, 2018 - 9:35am
CY18–169

With cannabis becoming legal in Canada tomorrow, Wednesday, October 17, 2018, the City would like to remind residents that different orders of government and government agencies are responsible for different aspects of cannabis legalization, regulation, and enforcement.

The federal government’s Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) provides legal access to cannabis, and controls and regulates its production, distribution, and sale.  Under the Cannabis Act, each province has the ability to set its own rules for cannabis.  Visit canada.ca/cannabis for information about cannabis in Canada. 

The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Act (Bill 121) sets out the rules and regulations for cannabis use in Saskatchewan.  The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Act strictly prohibits the consumption of cannabis in a public place.  This means cannabis may only be consumed on private property.  The City’s Bylaw No. 8286, The Smoking Control Bylaw, 2004, has been amended to reflect this (visit saskatoon.ca/smokefree for more information).  Visit saskatchewan.ca/cannabis for information about cannabis in Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is responsible for regulating the industry in the province, including permitting and monitoring the operation of local wholesalers and retailers.  In Saskatoon, seven business groups have been awarded cannabis retail store permits from SLGA.  Cannabis retail stores must be standalone operations, selling only federally licensed cannabis, cannabis accessories, and ancillary items.  Alcohol sales will not be permitted in cannabis stores.  Visit slga.com for information on industry regulations.

The Saskatoon Police Service is responsible for enforcing all federal and provincial cannabis laws, as well as the City’s Smoking Control Bylaw.  Visit saskatoonpolice.ca/cannabis for information on cannabis law enforcement in Saskatoon.

The City is responsible for cannabis regulations related to land use and business activity within the city.  On June 25, 2018, City Council amended Bylaw No. 8770, Zoning Bylaw and passed Bylaw No. 9525, The Cannabis Business License Bylaw, 2018 to regulate cannabis-related businesses in Saskatoon.

The regulations provide accommodation for cannabis retail stores and production facilities to be established in Saskatoon, while ensuring they are appropriately separated from sensitive land uses, such as elementary and high schools, parks, community centres, public libraries, and child care centres.  Visit saskatoon.ca/cannabis for information on municipal bylaws related to cannabis.