Pubdate: Wed, 08 Nov 2017
Source: News, The (New Glasgow, CN NS)
Copyright: 2017 Transcontinental Inc.
Author: John Cotter
Page: A7


Two former Alberta government cabinet ministers and a police chief are
part of a group that is working to promote the legal recreational
marijuana industry.

Former justice minister Jonathan Denis belongs to an organization
called the Canadian Cannabis Chamber that is providing legal, lobbying
and security advice to companies as Canada prepares for the
legalization of pot next July.

Denis said he never dreamed he would be working as an advocate for an
industry that will sell a substance that people were arrested for
during his years as Alberta's solicitor general.

"The issue of marijuana legalization is not something that I thought
would come so quickly," Denis said. "The reality is the federal
government has decided to make it a legal substance and with that
comes some challenges. We want to make sure that there are as few
negative effects on society as possible from what will be a legitimate

The Calgary-based organization said it plans to promote policies for
greater access to cannabis and cannabis products, advocate for
standards and best practices and reduce business costs by lobbying for
sensible regulations.

Companies that pay a fee to join the non-profit organization have
access to information from its experts.

"We are going to be able to do advocacy on behalf of the industry and
put people together who may want to do business together in the
industry just like a normal chamber of commerce."

Denis said the chamber supports 18 as the legal age of consumption and
would like to see legal pot sold in private retail stores.

Other members of the group include former Alberta culture minister
Lindsay Blackett and former Calgary police chief Rick Hanson.
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