Article by Mike Okada, Cannabis Life Network
Last Thursday, Nov. 16, Alberta unveiled its proposed rules for cannabis retailers, and the province stands out as the only one so far to propose a hybrid system of government-controlled and private retail that depends on where you purchase your cannabis
If Bill 26, An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis, is passed, online sales will be controlled by the government, but any brick-and-mortar stores will be privately owned and will require special business licenses to sell cannabis.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission would be in charge of distribution and licensing, which likely means that, much like in Manitoba, the only cannabis that can be legally purchased in Alberta will have to come from the licensed producers.
Alberta’s rules so far
Although Alberta is allowing the private sector to handle all retail locations, the province will strictly regulate them, and cannabis retail locations will be standalone stores that are allowed to sell cannabis and associated products like rollies and lighters only- that means no tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, or even munchies can be sold on the same premises.
Other rules include:
- Criminal record checks for cannabis business owners
- Regulated hours of operation for retail stores
- Staff must be 18 or older and receive cannabis training
- Minimum age of 18 to purchase, possess, and consume
More rules will be coming in February and March that will lay out the minimum distances between dispensaries, schools, and liquor stores, and where cannabis stores can open in the first place.
On Nov. 14, Alberta also introduced changes to the Traffic Safety Act to include cannabis-impaired driving, which left Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht very concerned, telling CBC, “an adequate test for marijuana impairment doesn’t exist yet”.