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Project stage:


Proposed rules for cannabis retail stores in Medicine Hat were presented to the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) on June 13, 2018 in Council Chambers at City Hall. After discussion, the MPC concluded the session by submitting a recommendation to City Council to approve the proposed rules related to cannabis stores.

City Council will have an opportunity to make a decision on the rules for cannabis retail stores on July 16, 2018.

View proposed rules (PDF) for cannabis retail stores in Medicine Hat.


View survey results (PDF)

The report of survey results was presented to the MPC on April 12, 2018, and was provided to City Council for information purposes at the Council meeting on April 16, 2018.

Event calendar (including MPC and City Council meetings)

The survey is now closed. Thank you to the residents of Medicine Hat for participating in this important public survey! There was unprecedented feedback, with over 7100 responses from people who wanted to "have their say" regarding cannabis policies in the city. The survey was open from February 1 to March 14, 2018, with both online and paper responses accepted.

The Government of Canada has indicated that non-medical cannabis will be legalized, likely in the summer of 2018.

The Alberta provincial government will be responsible for deciding how non-medical cannabis will be distributed and sold within their provincial boundaries.

The City of Medicine Hat will have a role in developing local policies and regulations for non-medical cannabis that will determine where retail stores may be located and where public consumption will be allowed.

The City of Medicine Hat is not currently accepting applications for cannabis retail stores.

Right now it is only legal to use cannabis if you have a medical prescription. Selling cannabis for non-medical purposes is still illegal.


cannab_tradeshow_webIt was great to see you!

At the Sunshine Home and Garden Show (March 2-4, 2018), Planning & Development Services teamed up with the folks from Community Development to share information about the cannabis legislation and to hear what the people of Medicine Hat have to say. We were happy to host a very busy booth, receiving around another 1,000 survey responses over the weekend. Nice going, Medicine Hat!

If you missed the show...

View the displays here. (PDF)


Medical cannabis production
is currently legal and has been for a number of years.  We encourage individuals interested in any opportunities to develop a medical cannabis production facility to research the federal licensing requirements and contact Planning & Development Services (contact info below) to discuss their business proposal. 

For individuals interested in starting a cannabis retail store, there are three main factors that limit how much guidance the City of Medicine Hat can provide: 

1 -  Non-medical cannabis is currently illegal.  The City cannot process or approve any applications for cannabis retail stores until federal and provincial legislation is passed. 

2 -  The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) will be the license provider to cannabis retail stores in Alberta.  For full details on applying for a license to retail non-medical cannabis in Alberta, visit AGLC.  

3 -  By gathering local feedback, the City will be able to assess community preferences and potentially increase separation distances established by the AGLC; if public feedback gives us a clear message to do so.


Questions? Contact:

Jim Genge, Senior Planner
Planning & Development Services
Ph. 403.525.8838

Federal action:

In April 2017, the Federal government tabled two bills that once adopted will legalize and regulate cannabis in Canada;  Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act and Bill C-46, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code.  It is the intent of the Federal government to enact both pieces of legislation by the summer 2018.  Under the proposed legislation, the Federal government will be responsible for regulating the production of cannabis, as well as setting the rules around possession limits, trafficking, advertising, tracking of seed to sale, establishing minimum age limits, personal cultivation, and the continued oversight of the medical cannabis regime.  

Provincial action:

In November 2017, the Province of Alberta passed Bill 26: An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis; an act that established components of the “Alberta Cannabis Framework” into provincial law.  This Bill provides authority for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) to carry out oversight and compliance functions for cannabis retail, manage the distribution of cannabis in Alberta, to carry out public online sales, and to license privately owned and operated cannabis stores with strong oversight and province wide rules.  In addition this Bill establishes provincial offences related to youth possession, public consumption and consumption of cannabis in vehicles.

Learn more about the requirements for starting a cannabis retail store in Alberta from the AGLC.

Municipal action:

Municipalities in Alberta must develop local policies and regulations for non-medical cannabis that will determine where retail stores may be located and where public consumption will be allowed. The Municipalities are currently in various stages of this process.