Known for its Tourism and Scenic Beauty, Canada’s Banff Discusses Marijuana Bylaw

Canoes are seen on a dock on Lake Louise at Banff National Park, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains outside the village of Lake Louise, Alta. in 2014. (File image via Reuters)
Canoes are seen on a dock on Lake Louise at Banff National Park, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains outside the village of Lake Louise, Alta. in 2014. (File image via Reuters)

The council of Banff, a tourist town known for its picturesque beauty, is working on Bylaw 420 to regulate marijuana sales.

Situated in the province of Alberta’s Rockies majestic mountains, the town has been advised not to have shops clustered all in one location.

Unlike other places, Banff attracts millions of visitors every year and its commercial district is small and restricted in size, making the dispersion of pot shops a delicate business to maneuver.

The town of Banff. (File image)
The town of Banff. (File image)

So far, the town’s council has been receiving input and ideas from people working in the marijuana industry.

Dave Martin, a cannabis business based in Calgary and Kelowna, B.C., told CBC News that he spoke with the town council on Monday about the coming bylaw changes.

“If people are coming there for cannabis, they will shop around that area. As part of just retail mixed use, it’s a good benefit as long as it is spread out throughout the community,” Martin said. 

He added: “There is cannabis in Banff today. I don’t think I’m going to surprise anybody by saying that.”

An early evening view of downtown Banff, Alberta in this file photo dated December 1, 2009. (File photo via Reuters)
An early evening view of downtown Banff, Alberta in this file photo dated December 1, 2009. (File photo via Reuters)

Banff’s Appeal for Marijuana Business

Banff’s appeal is also the main reason why “potpreneuers” are interested in opening their retails stores in the town.

Banff’s director of planning and development, Randall McKay, said it’s why the council is discussing the bylaws to have their answers and solutions ready.

“I think people are seeing the opportunity to capitalize on this new form of retail that we’re going to see in society, that it’s something that people want to be a part of,” said McKay.

Canoes are seen on a dock on Lake Louise at Banff National Park, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains outside the village of Lake Louise, Alta. in 2014. (File image via Reuters)
Canoes are seen on a dock on Lake Louise at Banff National Park, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains outside the village of Lake Louise, Alta. in 2014. (File image via Reuters)

Currently, the council is working to redefine its land use bylaw for cannabis businesses.  McKay said the council will discuss the issue later in February as nothing has been solidified.

Banff’s marijuana bylaw will definitely look different than other municipalities.

Due to its touristic nature, Banff has allowed the free market to prevail. It has permitted liquor stores to operate as any other retail outlets and not be government-controlled, explains why the small town has 12 liquor stores.

Time is running fast though as Canada wants to legalize marijuana this summer.

The Fairmont Chateau hotel near Lake Louise in Banff. (File image)
The Fairmont Chateau hotel near Lake Louise in Banff. (File image)
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