Alberta Announces its Marijuana Framework

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In the second official announcement of a complete framework for legal marijuana, the Province of Alberta has set their minimum age to use and purchase pot at 18 years.

Although New Brunswick has partially laid out its plans, and information from Québec’s upcoming system has been leaked, Ontario is the only province up until this point to provide a glimpse into how legal cannabis will be ushered into Canada.

Yesterday, Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley introduced the details of the provincial legislation for the prairie province.

First, it will be legal to possess up to 30 grams of pot in public, with no limit on possession in private residences. As well, smoking and vaping marijuana in public will fall under existing tobacco laws. There will also be no smoking or vaping in vehicles, even for passengers.

Adults will be allowed to grow four plants per household to a maximum height of 1 meter and all growing must be done indoors. There will be no outdoor growing permitted.

The province has not yet decided on public or privately run retail outlets, but Alberta’s Gaming and Liquor Commission will be the central wholesaler for all cannabis products. This is designed to guarantee a “level playing field” for both large and small cannabis producers.

Minister Ganley touched on what she believes to be the pros and cons to both government-run outlets and private dispensaries, stating that “a government-owned system allows us slightly greater control in terms of ensuring product isn’t flowing in and out from a black or gray market,” she said. “With respect to a private system, it’s a little bit easier to set up.”

In an interesting twist, Alberta will not be allowing online sales of marijuana at first. This decision may prove difficult for the province considering Prime Minister Trudeau has confirmed the feds will be executing online sales for the country when legalization comes to ensure all Canadians have access to cannabis, regardless of provincial regulations.

“We recognize the importance of this option [online sales] being available, but we want to be absolutely confident we can verify the person ordering cannabis and the person accepting delivery is of age,” said Ganley.

Alberta has set up an official online portal for public feedback on the details of their announcement. The portal will be open until Oct. 27 and you are highly encouraged to share your opinion on how cannabis should be regulated and sold in Alberta.

About Author

Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist, a TV producer and marijuana advocate for over sixteen years. He has a wife, two young children and lives in the Toronto area.

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