Pubdate: Wed, 22 Mar 2017
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Gordon Kent
Page: 7


Sales rules in place next year: justice minister

Alberta should have regulations in place to allow recreational
marijuana sales next year, Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said Tuesday.

The federal government has vowed to introduce legislation this spring
to legalize pot, but Ganley said packaging, distribution, zoning,
building codes and other details must be worked out before people can
smoke and eat cannabis in the province without breaking the law.

"I'm not sure whether that has yet penetrated the public's
consciousness fully. There's an enormous amount of work that has to be
done," she said following a speech to the Alberta Association of
Municipal Districts and Counties convention in the Shaw Conference

"We're preparing to have our decisions made within a year. A little
bit more time would be better."

One concern is ensuring pot products don't attract children. For
example, eating the drug is popular in Colorado, which Ganley visited
last fall to see how its legal cannabis system works, so the state
insists pot gummy candies can't be in kid-friendly animal shapes. She
also wants to ensure products contain "reasonable" levels of THC, the
chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychological impact, and
labels are accurate.

"Otherwise, you can get some really unfortunate effects."

Association president Al Kemmere said his group wants the federal and
provincial governments to help municipalities with the increased cost
of enforcing bylaws related to the recreational marijuana industry.

Kemmere is a councillor in Mountain View County north of Calgary, site
of Alberta's only medical marijuana production facility, which has
zoning approval for a major expansion.

The owner, Aurora Cannabis Inc., is also building a giant
75,000-square-metre facility near the Edmonton International Airport
in a move the company has said is intended to cash in on the country's
looming recreational smoke business, as well as the growing medical

Kemmere said his board wants the province to change its rules similar
to moves in B.C. so municipalities can derive more taxation from such
operations, which are now considered agricultural.

"It's easy to say we're going to legalize it, but how do you build the
regulations around this? I think it's going to take a collaboration of
all three levels of government."
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