Pubdate: Fri, 17 Nov 2017
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network
Author: Emma Graney
Page: A4


Potential retailers comment as Alberta releases rules for cannabis
shops, sales

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

Under proposed rules introduced by the province Thursday, retailers
will be restricted to sales of cannabis and cannabis-related goods
such as lighters and rolling papers.

There's no word on how much legal marijuana will cost, but 420 Clinic
founder Jeff Mooij says that won't matter to consumers.

As a medical marijuana clinic owner and cannabis user, Mooij said
Thursday there is an appetite for clean, safe, regulated weed in
Alberta - it's not about paying less than black market drugs, but
knowing where the product is coming from. "Demand will be huge," he
said. Mooij intends to apply for a retail licence and envisages long
lines and shelves emptying at lightning speed on July 1, as has been
the experience in the U.S.

"What we need to worry about is that we have enough product in this
province to facilitate (legalization)," he said, calling on the
federal government to increase production licences.

"If we want to go against the black market, then we need a robust

If the legislation is passed, retail stores will 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 - they need to
be an entirely different business entity.

In a statement, Alberta Liquor Store Association president Ivonne
Martinez said private liquor retailers are best suited to safely and
responsibly sell legalized cannabis.

If government wants a specific distance between alcohol and cannabis,
she said, ALSA members should still be able to open off-site weed stores.

Along with booze, selling tobacco or pharmaceuticals alongside weed
also will be strictly prohibited. Online sales will be controlled and
run by the province, although the details of how that will work are
yet to be hashed out.

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

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

Officials say many of the intricacies will be managed through
regulations coming in 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 through the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
will work.

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