Pubdate: Sat, 03 Dec 2016
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 Postmedia Network
Author: Trevor Howell
Page: A9


Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the Liberal government's plan to legalize
marijuana could spark a new craft industry and create opportunities
for small businesses - which "may not be a bad thing" in Calgary's
slumping economy.

But any new model to distribute recreational weed, including edibles,
should be controlled to ensure public safety and prevent people
underage from using it, he said.

"I wouldn't want to see marijuana-infused jelly beans sold at every
7-Eleven counter," Nenshi told reporters Friday.

"In Colorado, I believe that there is a restriction against joint
consumption, so where there's alcohol you can't sell alcohol and
marijuana in the same place," he said. "These are the sorts of things
we need to be very thoughtful about."

The Liberal government's Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and
Regulation, which spent months gathering input from provincial and
municipal governments, indigenous people, health and addiction
experts, submitted its findings earlier this week.

That report is expected to be released publicly Dec.

In its submission to the task force, Calgary officials outlined
concerns held by police and various municipal departments on the
implications of legalizing pot, such as building and safety
compliance, enforcement and business licensing.

"From a very practical point of view, if this actually creates a new
craft industry or new kinds of small business that's not a bad thing
in this economy. We just have to figure out the right way to do it and
the right way to ensure peoples' safety."

A recent report by Deloitte, Recreational Marijuana: Insights and 
Opportunities, projects the retail marijuana market in Canada could be 
worth $4.9 billion and $8.7 billion annually.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously suggested it would be
appropriate for liquor stores to sell recreational marijuana - a
sentiment echoed by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. While that idea
has the support of liquor associations across Canada, health experts
and advocates say the government should think twice about one-stop
shops for booze and marijuana.

"The effect on the central nervous system is not additive but
multiplicative," said Craig Jones, executive director of NORML Canada.
"It's not cannabis plus alcohol equals a stronger buzz. It's a
considerably stronger effect."

A recent Think-HQ/Metro News poll found 65 per cent of Albertans
support legalization, though most want to the drug sold in licensed
dispensaries that specialize in marijuana or through
government-controlled stores. Ivonne Martinez, president of the
Alberta Liquor Store Association, said its members overwhelmingly
support the idea of selling recreational marijuana and are
well-positioned to do so.
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