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Designated cannabis consumption areas for festivals and events

Festival and event organizers can host an outdoor cannabis consumption area that is connected to approved events. These open-air spaces are subject to approval from the City of Calgary Interdepartmental Event Team. Event Opportunity forms must be submitted a minimum of 60 days prior to the event.


Designated cannabis consumption area regulations

Organizers who would like to host a cannabis consumption area need to ensure the following guidelines are met:

  1. Responsible consumption: festival and event organizers must have trained staff to manage and monitor cannabis consumption areas.
  2. Adherence to all appropriate legislation: cannabis consumption areas at festivals and events need to follow all federal, provincial and municipal regulations.
  3. Limiting the impact on youth: organizers of cannabis consumption areas need to minimize the impact on youth.
  4. Limiting exposure to second-hand smoke: festival and event attendees should not be exposed to second-hand smoke.​

Approval of a cannabis consumption area is subject to the following conditions:

  • Cannabis consumption areas are a complementary activity within a larger festival or event.
  • Cannabis consumption areas must not come within 100 metres of a sport and playing field, a skateboard or bicycle park, a zoo, an outdoor theatre, an outdoor pool or splash pad, or a playground.
  • A cannabis consumption area is prohibited on school and hospital properties.
  • Minors are not to be granted entry to a cannabis consumption area.
  • Event organizers will be held liable for the safety of individuals in a cannabis consumption area. Trained security will be required to monitor the safety of all individuals in a consumption area, and will be responsible for removing minors.
  • Alcohol is not allowed in a cannabis consumption area. Beer gardens must be separate from a consumption area.
  • Cannabis consumption areas must be fenced areas with blackout screening, and must have appropriate waste disposal bins.
  • Cannabis cannot be sold or distributed in a cannabis consumption area.
  • Organizers must obtain a Fire Occupancy Load card by contacting 311.
  • The Calgary Police Service​ will conduct a review to determine how many pay duty officers may be required for the area.
  • On-site medical support requirements will be assessed by Alberta Health Services.
  • Organizers must follow federal regulations regarding the advertising or promotion of cannabis and cannabis products.

Applying for a cannabis consumption area

An application for a cannabis consumption area must include the following documents:

Site map

  • A drawing of the entire site, including labelled consumption areas, entrances and exits.
  • Measurements of all spaces, including the consumption area, entrances, exits, and the entire site perimeter.
  • Clearly identifed fencing and blackout screening fo the perimeter.
  • Measurements identifying a 100 metre radius from a sport and playing field, a skateboard or bicycle park, a zoo, an outdoor theatre, an outdoor pool or splash pad, and a playground.

Security plan

A security plan must include:

  • Dates and times security will be on site.
  • Number of security personnel.
  • Verification of trained security staff to manage a cannabis consumption area. SellSafe cannabis training is available from the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission.

Medical plan

  • The level of medical care on site.
  • The location of a medical service area.
  • The communication plan between event organizers, staff, and on site medical services.
  • The times that medical services will be available during the event.