Pubdate: Thu, 17 Dec 2015
Source: Metro (Calgary, CN AB)
Copyright: 2015 Metro Canada
Author: Helen Pike, with files from the canadian press
Page: A1



What 'makes sense' in Ontario makes less sense here

While Ontario mulls how to handle the imminent sale of legalized 
marijuana, Alberta still considers conversations about how to handle 
dope premature.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said it would "make a lot of sense" 
for Ontario's government-run liquor stores to sell marijuana, Monday. 
She added their stores, owned by the government, have the experience 
and expertise to sell legalized marijuana in a responsible way.

Although the provinces east of Alberta are considering how regulated 
Mary Jane sales would look, a spokesperson for the Minister of 
Finance - the ministry that oversees the Alberta Gaming and Liquor 
Corporation - said it's a little premature to be having similar talks here.

In Alberta, things work a little differently for controlled 
substances. Ontario has a monopoly on liquor sales, as they operate 
all of the stores licensed to sell. But Alberta has an open market 
with private sellers in charge of their own liquor selections, hours 
and operations.

"From a logistics point of view I could see how governments would 
look at their current infrastructure to see if they can leverage any 
of those stores that are already selling controlled substances," 
Ivonne Martinez, president of the Alberta Liquor Store Association said.

"The difference is in Ontario they own all of their stores - so they 
can make that decision. Here, we don't know what the government is 
thinking yet, we don't know if AGLC is going to be in charge of it or not."


PM's Pledge

The new federal government's throne speech earlier this month 
included a pledge to "legalize, regulate and restrict access to 
marijuana," following up on a long-standing pledge by Justin 
Trudeau's Liberals. But it's still unclear how that will roll out.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom