Pubdate: Fri, 17 Nov 2017
Source: Fort McMurray Today (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Fort McMurray Today
Author: Emma Graney
Page: A5


Private retailers who want to sell legal marijuana in Alberta come
July 1 won't be able to do so alongside alcohol, or even a bag of chips.

Under proposed rules introduced by the provincial government Thursday,
retailers will be restricted to sales of cannabis and cannabis-related

Stores also will have to operate under a specific cannabis business
licence. That means liquor stores won't be able to set up a wall and a
separate storefront with booze on one side and bud on the other.

Selling tobacco or pharmaceuticals alongside weed also will be
strictly prohibited, and all retailers will undergo a criminal record

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission will be the wholesaler for
all legal pot and will oversee retail licensing. Stores will have
standardized retail hours, and clerks must be over 18 and go through
legal cannabis sales education.

Online sales will be controlled and run by the province, though the
details of exactly how that will work are yet to be hashed out.

Government is still working on which department or organization will
execute sales, what technology will be used to check buyers' age and
identity online ( as well as at delivery) and how the product will
even get to remote communities.

More rules to come

With municipalities and the federal government still setting up their
own laws, Alberta officials see July 1, 2018, as the starting point,
not the finishing line.

A lot of the intricacies still to be ironed out around legal cannabis
sales - and there are a lot of them - will be managed through
regulations coming February or March.

Those rules will govern where a store can be located, how much
distance must exist between cannabis shops, schools and liquor stores
and how licensing will work.

There's no set limit on the number of stores allowed in the province,
but AGLC will manage the pace of licensing to avoid a clamouring rush
for stores.

Like all provinces, Alberta is also still waiting on rules from the
federal government. Ottawa is in charge of advertising and marketing,
what can be sold, height of plants and the mechanics of legal
exceptions so stores can be stocked and open July 1.

The province also is waiting on further clarity around how legal pot
will be taxed and who gets the cash.

Until then, government doesn't know how it will be taxed here. That
means there's no telling how much weed will set you back, though
officials are adamant the cost won't price legal pot out of the market.

Municipalities also have to figure out local zoning and laws, and can
ultimately turn down a business licence.

Zero tolerance for youth

Adults in Alberta will be able to carry 30 grams of pot, but there
will be a zero-tolerance policy for youth.

Anyone under 18 found with five grams or less will be fined, the drugs
seized and their parents or guardians notified; anything over that
amount will land them in the criminal system under federal
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