A look at cannabis consumption bylaws in Alberta cities and towns

Click to play video: 'AGLC licenses 17 Alberta cannabis stores for Oct. 17'
AGLC licenses 17 Alberta cannabis stores for Oct. 17
On Oct. 17, only 17 stores across Alberta will be approved and ready to sell. As Vinesh Pratap reports, 11 are in the Edmonton area – Oct 4, 2018

City and town councils across Alberta are rushing to get consumption bylaws in place ahead of marijuana legalization on Oct. 17.

Municipalities across the province have adopted a different approach and, as a result, the rules are different depending on which city or town you visit.

The Alberta Cannabis Framework allows Albertans to consume cannabis in their home and public spaces where smoking tobacco is allowed. Cannabis use will be banned in cars, places visited by kids and cannabis retail stores. 

The provincial government allowed municipalities to add restrictions to consuming marijuana products in public.


  • Prohibited in public
  • One designated consumption site at 269 Sierra Springs Dr. SE, open for a one-year pilot project

Banff townsite

  • Prohibited in public
  • The Town of Banff notes the Banff National Park is covered under the provincial framework


READ MORE: Marijua–nah, say Calgary universities to smoking pot on campus

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  • Allowed in public, except:
  • Prohibited in or within 10 metres of public parks and playgrounds
  • Prohibited in or within 5 metres of buildings
  • The city manager may assign “discreet designated smoking areas” on city property at a later date


  • Prohibited in public


  • Prohibited in public


  • Prohibited in public

Watch Below: With two days until recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada, the change comes with new rules in Edmonton. Vinesh Pratap reports.

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Is Edmonton ready for marijuana legalization?


  • Allowed in public, except:
  • Not allowed within 10 metres of entries, exits, air intakes or bus shelters
  • Not allowed in parks with playgrounds, sports fields, skate or bicycle parks, outdoor theatre, outdoor pool or spray park, seasonal skating rink, off-leash dog area
  • Not allowed in: Sir Winston Churchill Square, Fort Edmonton Park, the John Janzen Nature Centre, the Edmonton Valley Zoo, the Muttart Conservatory, William Hawrelak Park
  • Not allowed on or in hospital property, school property, child care facility property, city-owned golf courses, cemeteries, ski hill, bus terminal or light rail transit platform
  • The policies for consuming cannabis at festivals and public events are still being developed.

LISTEN BELOW: Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson speaks with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen about her community’s readiness for legalization

READ MORE: Edmonton settles on 10-metre buffer zone for smoking, cannabis use around entrances

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Fort McMurray & Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

Fort Saskatchewan

  • Prohibited in public

Grande Prairie

  • Allowed in some outdoor instances
  • Not allowed in public buildings, workplaces or public venues
  • Not allowed in downtown Grande Prairie, “on all streets and avenues including and bounded by 101 Avenue or 100 Avenue between 102 Street and 98 Street”
  • Not allowed within a 30 metre radius of a recreational facility, public park, parade, outdoor special event, or where children are playing or congregating
  • Not allowed “in a manner and/or proximity that is adversely affecting another person”
  • Not allowed where a public sign prohibits smoking

Jasper townsite

  • Prohibited in public
  • Public consumption sites may be proposed and approved in the future
  • Permits can be issued for designated consumption sites at events


  • Prohibited in public

LISTEN BELOW: Leduc Mayor Bob Young speaks with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen about her community’s readiness for legalization

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“At this point, the City of Lethbridge is not introducing additional public consumption regulations as we anticipate the province may introduce additional regulations to address any gaps in existing provincial legislation,” the city’s policy reads.


  • Prohibited in public
  • Also prohibited on a sidewalk

Medicine Hat

  • Allowed in public

“The City of Medicine Hat will rely on provincial regulations to regulate the consumption of cannabis in the community as of Oct. 17,” said Leah Prestayko, community development general manager. “City council continues to discuss what additional regulations it might wish to put in place through municipal bylaw.”


  • Prohibited in public
  • Permits for designated consumption areas at special events can be granted by the town’s chief administrative office

Red Deer

  • Prohibited in public

LISTEN BELOW: Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer speaks with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen about her community’s readiness for legalization

St. Albert

Spruce Grove

  • Prohibited in public

Stony Plain

  • Prohibited in public
  • Cannabis plants must be contained in a secure structure or secure fence

Sylvan Lake

  • Prohibited in public

This list is not comprehensive and is not meant to be legal counsel. Please consult your local bylaws before consuming cannabis.

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–with files from Emily Mertz, Slav Kornik and John Himpe

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