Health and safety are paramount as the provincial government moves forward with legislation to manage legalized cannabis (marijuana).
Rules and regulations would be implemented as the federal government is set to legalize the use and possession of non-medical cannabis July 1, 2018, says a news release Nov. 16.
“This legislation represents the culmination of extensive engagement and research on legalized cannabis,” Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley says.
“It puts our province in a position to not only meet the federal deadline of July 2018, but does so in a way that is responsible and promotes public health and safety for all Albertans.”
Alberta Chambers of Commerce support the proposed plan.
“We are pleased with the government’s announcement to go with the private retail model as cannabis becomes legalized,” says president Ken Kobly.
“This direction strikes a healthy balance that supports free enterprise, responsible government and the safety of Albertans.”
Under the proposed legislation, the province would:
-Give the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission the mandate to oversee distribution, compliance and enforcement of the cannabis retail system in Alberta.
-Establish authority to set regulatory guidelines and licence requirements for private cannabis retailers.
-Ban co-location of cannabis sales with alcohol, pharmaceuticals and tobacco sales.
-Establish authority to further regulate advertising, labelling, and promotion of cannabis if required after federal regulations are established.
-Operate online cannabis sales.
-Set the minimum age for purchase and use at 18.
-Establish provincial offences for anyone under 18 who possesses five grams or less of cannabis.
-Establish restrictions around where cannabis can be smoked and vaped in public.
The proposed legislation, An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis, involves amendments to the Gaming and Liquor Act, which would be renamed the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act.