Pubdate: Wed, 01 Nov 2017
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2017 The StarPhoenix
Author: Phil Tank
Page: A4


Urban governments in Saskatchewan are getting "anxious" about the
provincial government's plans to deal with legalized marijuana,
according to the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA).

The association on Tuesday called on the provincial government to
start consulting about its plans for when the federal government
follows through on its promise to legalize recreational cannabis in
eight months.

SUMA president Gordon Barnhart said the pending legalization of
marijuana looms as one of the chief concerns expressed during seven
regional meetings held last month.

Other provincial governments are already establishing regulations,
some of which feature heavy restrictions, while others leave many
decisions to municipal governments.

"It's a ripple effect and we're anxious to hear from both levels of
government about what's on the radar so we can prepare as well,"
Barnhart said.

Ontario announced its plans for government-run stores to sell
marijuana in September and has set the legal age for purchase at 19.
Alberta and New Brunswick have also announced part of their plans;
British Columbia concludes its public consultation today.

SUMA members are already hearing from people who want to set up shops
and people who want to produce cannabis in their communities, Barnhart

Decisions that await municipalities once the Saskatchewan Party
government announces its plans could range from restricting retail
locations to bylaw enforcement for public consumption. Barnhart said
consultations on changes to municipal rules could take months.

"I don't know that there's any province yet that is completely
prepared," he said.

SUMA can assist the province with its legislation based on its
consultations with municipalities, he added.

"Perhaps we can offer some advice that would steer them away from any

Barnhart declined to share any of that advice on Tuesday.

The province has pledged to release its plans for legal marijuana once
its review is completed this fall.

The provincial government's online survey on marijuana legalization
attracted tens of thousands of respondents.
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MAP posted-by: Matt