By Sharon McLeay Times Contributor
A federal bill introduced in April 2017 legalizing recreational use of marijuana has provinces scrambling to find out what residents think about the move and how they can deal with all the issues and structure needed to implement it.
The first survey by the Government of Alberta had 45,000 people responding and about 100 organizations taking part in roundtable meetings or providing written submissions. The government stated it was the most successful survey in its history.
“I’d like to thank every Albertan who participated in our various engagements regarding cannabis legalization over the summer,” said Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, in a news release. “With your input, we’ve drafted a proposed framework to manage legalized cannabis in our province. We look forward to receiving additional feedback from Albertans on this framework.”
The draft framework includes allowing those 18 years of age and over to purchase cannabis from specialized retail outlets, a public possession limit for adults of 30 grams of cannabis for personal use, and vendors selling alcohol, pharmaceuticals or tobacco excluded as vendors. It can be consumed at home, but not in a motor vehicle, and rules placed on tobacco regarding secondary smoke will be enforced. Up to four plants can be grown in the home for personal use. However, condo and multi-unit dwellers may have to convince their associations that it is a good idea. Impairment workshops, education programs and advertising warnings will all be developed.
How this will affect the medical marijuana industry is unknown. An article by Chris Kudialis of the Las Vegas Times showed an approximate drop of 10 to 25 per cent in medical marijuana sales in legalized states. To address that contingency, Aurora Cannabis, an Alberta medical marijuana producer, has launched a home delivery app.
The survey remains open until midnight Oct. 27. To take the survey, visit surveys.advanis.ca/alberta_cannabis_consultation.