Town Invites Public Review and Input on Suitable Locations for Cannabis Retail Sales

The Town has begun the second half of a two-part process to amend its Land Use Bylaw in preparation for the expected legalization of recreational cannabis across Canada later this year.

Town Council has given first reading to Bylaw No. 409-18, which proposes to amend the Town’s Land Use Bylaw to include Cannabis Retail Sales as a discretionary use in the Central Commercial (C1) and Highway Commercial (C2) districts in Ponoka.

The Bylaw proposes a minimum separation distance of 100 metres between cannabis retail locations and sensitive uses such as schools and provincial health care facilities in Ponoka. The 100-metre separation distance is the same minimum requirement established under provincial regulations for cannabis retail licensing through the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC). Municipalities can implement shorter or longer separation distances from sensitive-use areas than 100 metres if they choose.

The proposed Bylaw also includes specific-use regulations for Cannabis Retail Sales such as limiting hours of operation between 10 a.m. and 2 a.m., and prohibiting drive-through windows to limit accessibility and exposure of the products.

Public Review and Input Invited 

To view the proposed Bylaw and supporting documents, please click here.  A copy of the proposed Bylaw and supporting documents are also available for public review at the Town Office (C, 4900-54 Street) from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The supporting documents accompanying the Bylaw include a map identifying the 100-metre separation distances proposed in the new Bylaw. A second map that reflects recommendations from Alberta Health Services for increased separation distances from sensitive uses is also included in the package of supporting documents for comparison purposes and public review.

Public Hearing October 9

A public hearing on the proposed bylaw will be held Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at 7 p.m. at the Kinsmen Community Centre in Ponoka at 5009-46 Ave. Members of the public wishing to comment on the proposed Bylaw are welcome to speak at the public hearing. 

Written comments on the proposed Bylaw may be submitted by 4 p.m. on October 3, 2018, to: Parkland Community Planning Services, ATTN: Natasha Wright, Planner, Unit B, 4730 Ross Street, Red Deer, AB, T4N 1X2, or by email to

Ponoka Town Council will consider all submissions and public comment made at the Public Hearing prior to considering second reading of the proposed Bylaw.

Part One – Definitions

Phase one of the process to amend the Town’s Land Use Bylaw in preparation for the legalization of recreational cannabis was completed in May 2018. At that time, Ponoka Town Council granted third reading to Bylaw 399-18 which introduced new definitions for cannabis-related uses into the Town’s Land Use Bylaw. Adding these new definitions enables the Town to regulate cannabis-related sales and production within its land use districts. Bylaw 399-18 also introduced ‘Medical Cannabis Production Facility’ as a permitted use in the Town’s Industrial Land Use Districts (M1 and M2). Production of medical cannabis was legalized in Canada in 2014.

Recreational Cannabis-Related Uses Remain Illegal 

The Town cannot currently receive or approve development permits for any recreational cannabis-related uses such as retail sales in Ponoka until recreational cannabis becomes legalized by the federal government. It currently remains illegal to sell, consume or produce cannabis for non-medical purposes.

If federal legalization of cannabis occurs as anticipated, and once the Town of Ponoka Land Use Bylaw is amended by Town Council to identify and regulate suitable locations for cannabis-related uses, cannabis may then be sold in specialty cannabis-only retail stores in Ponoka that receive approval and meet the regulations outlined under the Town’s amended Land Use Bylaw, as well as provincial and federal regulations.


Proposed Bylaw and Supporting Documents:


  • Proposed Bylaw 409-18 to amend the Town of Ponoka Land Use Bylaw to include Cannabis Retail Sales as a discretionary use.
  • Map A– Showing proposed 100-metre separation distances in Bylaw 409-18 (as per minimum AGLC Regulations)
  • Map B – Showing Alberta Health Services Recommendations for increased separation distances (for comparison purposes and public review)