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Last updateFri, 20 Jul 2018 1pm

Cannabis bylaw amendments may promote downtown operations

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Town council is considering changes to their initial land use bylaw amendments regarding recreational cannabis sales in order to accommodate potential start-ups downtown.

At an open house and public hearing in the last two weeks, town officials heard concerns that restrictions on where cannabis retail stores can be located would limit businesses from operating downtown. The previous draft of amendments would have restricted stores from operating within 300 metres of another marijuana store and 150 metres from schools.

They have amended the bylaw, which is expected to have its third and final reading in council on July 9, by eliminating the 300 metre restriction and reducing the allowed distance to schools to 100 metres, which is the minimum required by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

The restrictions would have only allowed one business to operate downtown due to the buffer zone which would have been created by the Outreach School on Centre Street.

“The first model that was constructed made it clear that it was going to be impossible,” says councillor Jay Garbutt. “The borrowed model we were using was the one used with liquor stores and clearly the 300 metres distance between liquor stores wasn’t being enforced.”

“Anything that has the impact of bringing people to the downtown core is something council is very interested in."

“In some communities they are trying to structure zoning where the businesses are in one particular area of the community. We don’t know what is best but we are willing to hear what people think.”

Local Jaydee Bixby plans to open a cannabis retail operation downtown once Canada legalizes the drug, which is expected on October 17 of this year, and says the changes to the proposed bylaw are welcomed.

“We have multiple liquor stores in town and it’s great that we’ll be able to share the love with other businesses,” he says.

Bixby says the AGLC will require strict regulations on how businesses can operate. They require things like security cameras, reinforced doors, secured storage areas, and prohibit cannabis products and accessories from being visible from the exterior.

“We don’t want to expose it to anyone, especially children. But people think they’ll be walking through a cloud of smoke but the regulations say you can’t even so much as open a package in the stores,” Bixby says.

Councillor Garbutt says there are other provisions which the municipality must consider after the land use bylaw is approved, such as new bylaws regulating consumption and operation of businesses. Municipalities across the country are deciding whether marijuana consumption should mirror existing laws for tobacco smoking, which is restricted in certain areas outdoors, or whether it should follow alcohol restrictions where public consumption is prohibited.

The town will also look at appropriate hours of operation for these businesses.

Woman fined for conveying contraband

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A woman was fined $500  after attempting to bring contraband into the Drumheller Institution.
    Angela Bender, 25, appeared in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, June 8. She pleaded guilty to conveying contraband into the Drumheller Institution.
    On May 4, 2018, the RCMP were called to the Drumheller Institution to investigate a person attempting to introduce contraband into the penitentiary.
    Bender produced 14 nicotine patches from her bra. She pleaded guilty on her first appearance.
    Judge Barley agreed with the federal prosecutor and defense for a fine of $500. 

Teen headed to national beauty pageant

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A Lloydminster girl with Drumheller ties is heading to the Miss Teen Canada Globe.
    Ayden Kosko, daughter of Dave and Stacey, has roots in the valley. Life has brought them to Lloydminster, and this is where Ayden is launching her bid to be Miss Teen Canada Globe.
    Ayden is currently Miss Lloydminster and she interviewed to be part of the Miss Teen Canada Globe Competition. Out of the more than 1,000 applications, she made the top 50 who are heading to Toronto this August.
    Ayden, 15, learned in March that she was going to the pageant, however over the last year, she has been very active competing in pageants, and finds she is busy almost every weekend. In April, she achieved her highest Mega Grand Supreme Title, through the Royal Alberta Pageantry and the Royal Saskatchewan Pageantry.
    She is finding it rewarding.
    “It helps with my self-confidence. I used to be really shy, I could never talk to more than two people, now I can do public speaking,” she said.
    On top of her personal gains, she is also giving back, and has been actively working to raise awareness and funds for concussion and brain injury.
    “Earlier in December I fell and had a brain injury for about three months,” she said. “Now I want to help other people, because I got over it, I want to raise awareness because it can happen to anyone.”
    She has been working with the Lloydminster and Area Brain Injury Society.
    Before the Miss Teen Canada Globe competition she has Nationals with Royal Alberta Pageantry in Nisku July 14 and Central All Canadian Pageant in Nisku July 29, before she heads off to Toronto on August 15.
    Her mother Stacey explains during the first few days of the national pageant, there will be regional competitions for titles. There is also an award called Miss Teen Canada Charity for the contestant who is most active in their charity work.
    After that, the final contest is underway with the winner being crowned on August 25.
    Fans of  Ayden can help her on her journey. She explains that there is an online contest for all the contestants. Voting for Ayden can help her earn points that can propel her forward in the competition.
    The winner and runners-up from the Miss Teen Canada Globe competitions are able to pursue international competitions.

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