Calgary City Council Hears From Denver Representative on How to Handle Marijuana Legalization

Article by Annalise Klingbeil, Calgary Sun

Dan Rowland of the City of Denver's Office of Marijuana Policy and Department of Excise and Licenses smiles while chatting at City Hall in Calgary, Alta., on Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Council took part in a marijuana education session as a way to prepare for the day cannabis is legalized in Canada

Denver’s Dan Rowland advised Calgary’s city council to go slow, expect the unexpected, and introduce strict regulations and robust enforcement as Calgary prepares for the looming federal legalization of marijuana.

Denver, Colorado became the first city in the world to legalize recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1, 2014, and Rowland was in Calgary Monday to share what his city has learned at a lengthy council education session on the drug.

“Part of what I do is to help folks understand that this is not necessarily a game-changing experience,” said Rowland, a citywide communications advisor with the city of Denver.

“This is something that’s been coming for a long time, and a city can handle it and implement it in a way that makes sense for their city.”

In the three years since social weed was legalized in Denver, the American city has collected extensive data, which Rowland shared with council, on topics including gross sales, marijuana-related revenues, crime, impaired driving citations, and economic impact.

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