Article by Charles Hamilton, CBC News
Mail order or store front? Liquor stores, pharmacies or small independent dispensaries?
We still don’t know how exactly Saskatchewan will decide to retail legal pot.
One industry insider says the nuts and bolts of a flourishing industry already exist and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
“We want to legitimise the industry as it’s already in place here in Canada. We want to legitimise it. We are hoping they will regulate and license so that we can have reputable shops and reputable people in the industry and not having fly-by-night operations starting up,” said Pat Warnecke, who runs two medical marijuana dispensaries — BBS in Saskatoon and Better Buds Society in Regina.
Future still uncertain
Saskatchewan’s marijuana future is still a little hazy. While the federal government has mandated that recreational marijuana will be legal by July 1, 2018, there’s been pushback from the province. This week Premier Brad Wall joined calls to delay that date.
The provincial government has a working group that “will consider the various aspects of the federal legislation, such as the implementation of necessary provincial legislation and regulations, and the creation of an effective model for distribution and taxation,” according a written statement provided this week.
But there are no timelines regarding when and how the province will announce its plans to regulate and sell pot.
Feds laid out options
The federal government’s task force on legal pot that was released earlier this year did lay out some options.
It said some people surveyed preferred a centralized, government monopoly — the way the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority currently regulates alcohol sales. The SLGA could become a wholesaler, seller or simply a regulator.