As of October 17, 2018, we are now living in a country where marijuana use and sale has been legalized.
The huge shift in social culture has many puzzled on what the future holds.
This is especially true for Drumheller Town Council, which has seen an increase in interest for retail cannabis shops in the downtown core.
"It is more about the overall vision that this community has for what we would like to see for downtown. We have been talking for a while now about what is going to be required to make that vision come true. It could involve some really tough decisions about rules about what kinds of businesses we want to see. Family-friendly businesses is part of the direction we are trying to go," explained Councilor Jay Garbutt.
Garbutt went on to say that the council wants to improve downtown by using community resources, but the recent interest of cannabis shops downtown brings mixed feelings.
"I wouldn't want to be unfair to the industry. I think that because we don't have a store open in Drumheller yet, the market has yet to declare itself," continued Garbutt. "If it turns out that it's something where three years from now we still have four stores or more, then the market is making it quite clear that we are filling a need that I sure didn't know existed."
The road is long and unknown for many rural municipalities across the country deciding what to do with the new legislation.
"The number of communities that have actually started to try to restrict development is very small, so we are still in the process of exploring what kind of tools are available to us. This is something that would have to be done with tremendous consultation with the property owners, even though we may not reach consensus on what we need to do. We would only want to impose any kind of regulation after making sure we talk to everyone who will be affected," concluded Garbutt.