Province sets framework and legislation for cannabis use and sales

Applications for potential private cannabis retailers will be accepted by the province as early as March 6, according to updates to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) Regulation introduced Feb. 16.

Potential retailers were invited to participate in a telephone “town hall” on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. to learn more about what the licensing process and retail requirements will be.

These updates will govern how the private selling of cannabis will work, including who can own cannabis stores and where those stores can be located, as well as issues regarding safety and security, staffing requirements, and other details.

While the AGLC will operate online sales of cannabis, privately run stores will also be allowed to sell it. Consumers will be limited to 30 grams per transaction, which is also the legal possession limit.

The province says that discussions with the federal government are continuing on the subject of taxation. “Taxes must be kept low enough so that prices for legal cannabis are competitive with the illicit market,” the province says.

Albertans will be allowed to consume cannabis in their homes and in some public spaces, but use of cannabis will be banned in vehicles.

Anywhere that is currently off limits to tobacco smokers will also be off limits to cannabis smoking or vaping, as well as any hospital property, school property, or child care facility property.

Smoking or vaping of cannabis will not be allowed in or within a certain distance of a playground, sports or playing field, skateboard or bicycle park, zoo, outdoor theatre, and outdoor pools and splash parks.

Cannabis may not be smoked or vaped in any motor vehicle except for a parked RV being used as a temporary residence.

Cannabis being transported in a vehicle must be contained in closed packaging that is out of reach of the driver and any other occupants of the vehicle.

Cannabis may not be consumed in a cannabis retail outlet.

Municipalities may create additional restrictions on public consumption, and may also add their own regulations on where a cannabis store may be located within the municipality.

Minors may not enter any outlet authorized to sell cannabis, and anyone less than 25 years old, or who appears to be less than 25 years old, must be asked to provide proof of age by retailers.

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Leslie Cholowsky

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