Pubdate: Fri, 27 Oct 2017
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Page: 16


To paraphrase rock outfit The White Stripes: Premier Notley, we've said 
it once before but it bears repeating.

Do not listen to public sector unions when it comes to marijuana sales
in Alberta.

Following on the heels of the Alberta Federation of Labour, the
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) members last weekend
voted in favour of a resolution supporting the sale of cannabis in
provincially run stores when the practice is made legal next July.

As we have previously stated in this space, the sales should be left
to the private sector, which has the experience and track record in
managing sales of a regulated product - tobacco and alcohol.

Not to mention the need for sales of cannabis to be competitive with
the unregulated black market, which isn't going to disappear overnight.

If what is soon to be a legally consumable product isn't as widely
available as it is now under prohibition, the legal market will be a
failure before it gets going.

And if those reasons aren't enough to sway some on the issue, there is
the cost.

Earlier this week, the Alberta Party released calculations on how much
it could cost the province to set up a publicly-run cannabis sales

And it's a little eye-popping, especially considering the bleak
financial picture in Alberta at the moment.

Based on calculations using Colorado as a template, the Alberta party
estimated a potential for more then 370 stores in Alberta, all with
start-up costs of about $450,000.

The up-front cost to the province under the Alberta Party estimate? A
whopping $168 million.

We have a government that says every current dollar of government
spending is precious, and that is trying to wean itself off the red

Where is it supposed to come up with that kind of coin, and why should
that be the answer when there will undoubtedly be plenty of players
looking to get into the game, in both the medical and recreational

We don't want to sound repetitive, but considering there will be
others who will come out of the woodwork to call for state-run sales,
we can't say it enough.

Leave it to the private sector.
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MAP posted-by: Matt