Plans are underway for legal marijuana to be sold in Alberta through private bricks-and-mortar stores, but online sales will be controlled by the government, Postmedia has learned.
Legislation governing the sale of weed once it becomes legal July 1 will be introduced in the legislature next week.
Government-controlled online sales is meant to alleviate safety concerns raised by Albertans in response to the NDP’s planned pot framework, released Oct. 4, sources say.
The proposed hybrid system means private stores will bear the brunt of the financial risk, rather than taxpayers.
The province had been mulling over whether or not to set up publicly owned marijuana stores — a particularly thorny question for the union-friendly NDP government.
Ultimately, it rejected the idea.
Last month, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees adopted a resolution supporting the public control of marijuana sales.
At the time, union president Guy Smith cited the health, safety and well-being of Albertans.
British Columbia’s government union adopted a similar resolution, while Ontario plans to sell marijuana through 150 stores run by the province’s liquor distributor.