Pubdate: Wed, 22 Mar 2017
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network
Author: Gordon Kent
Page: A7


Justice minister says devil in the details as NDP works to put
regulations in place

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 that state's legal cannabis system works.
Colorado insists pot gummy candies can't be in kid friendly animal

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, home
to 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 that 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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MAP posted-by: Matt