Pubdate: Wed, 19 Oct 2016
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 The Calgary Sun
Author: Damien Wood
Page: A5


Provincial officials head to Colorado to study weed industry

Alberta's Justice Minister and Solicitor General is Colorado-bound to
see how the state has handled legal weed.

Kathleen Ganley said with marijuana's legalization in Canada imminent,
it's prudent to look at best practices and lessons learned from a
place that's pioneered the way.

"The federal government will set the tone, if you will, or set the
broad strokes for how restrictive the model is going to be and a whole
number of other things, but then provinces will have to step in
because some of it will be in provincial jurisdiction ... and of
course our policing partners, as well, will have a large role to play,
and municipalities probably as well ," Ganley said. "We're looking to
all move together.

"It's important that the province be prepared to ensure that we are
doing our part to keep Albertans safe.

"It's important to learn any lessons that we can to ensure that we're
doing this in the best way possible."

Ganley flies out Thursday to Colorado, which has had a green light on
pot since January 2014.

While Ganley is there in Denver, she's slated to meet with the
attorney general, municipal government, police and fire services,
building and licensing experts and also the environmental health department.

She's hoping to learn where the challenges were for Colorado in terms
of regulation, how Colorado went about tracking activity and enforcing
its new laws, as well as keeping weed out of the hands of minors and
keeping people from driving while under the influence.

"That's obviously going to be of significant concern," Ganley said of
driving high.

"As of now there's not yet an approved screening device, so it'll be
interesting to hear how they've handled those sorts of

Here in Canada, the federal government has announced marijuana will be
legalized in this country in the spring of 2017.

It's a difficult timeline, Ganley said, because after the feds roll
out their part of it the provinces and other partners will have to
scramble to roll out theirs and be mindful of gaps, but she's
optimistic Alberta can work it out.

"I want to wait and see the model the federal government is adopting
before I have particularly strong opinion on this," she said, asked
whether this move is a timely one.
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