Potted Plants – Alberta’s Marijuana Plan

Roll me up and smoke me when I die” WILLIE NELSON

On October 4th the Alberta government released its plan on marijuana legislation. The Liberal’s federal election promise to legalize pot with a timeline of summer of 2018 has the provinces rushing to get regulations in place. Alberta began a public consultation process last summer. The new framework document describes how Alberta’s pot program will roll out. You probably have heard the main points by now:

  • Legal at age 18
  • Retailers will buy from federally regulated producers through government regulated distributors. (online sales not available to start)
  • It could be government owned and operated stores or licensed private operations
  • 30 grams can be purchased at one time (40 to 60 joints apparently)
  • Taxes will be kept low to avoid the black market out-competing government
  • You can use it at home and in some outdoor places
  • You can grow 4 plants (indoors only please – so the kids don’t get into them)
  • Drug-impaired driving enforcement and education will be priorities
  • Packaging will be unattractive

The framework is up for discussion and a second round of consultations is underway.

Here is the Top 10 details buried in the full report:

  1. 45,000 Albertans went online to share their views

  2. Kids under 18 will get fines for possession of 4 grams and a criminal charge for more.

  3. Research says people under 25 who use pot face a greater risk from the negative effects on brain development.

  4. You won’t be able to grow your own if your landlord or condo board disapprove.

  5. Along with the usual methods of consuming weed you can apparently apply it in a lotion.

  6. Pot stores can’t sell alcohol or tobacco or drugs.

  7. The text of the report favors government run stores it seems (Better control and less oversight).

  8. The report is bullish on the idea that with our agricultural background we could grow marijuana.

  9. The report isn’t optimistic about new taxes particularly after the feds and municipalities will want a share.

  10. 20% of Albertans used pot in the last year. 55% have used it sometime in their life. Of the 45% who haven’t tried pot, only 7% said they would give it a whirl once it is legal.

     

Somewhat worrisome – a statistical breakdown 45,000 respondents to the survey isn’t provided; just a few snippets here and there. (record-breaking numbers for an online consultation!)

Severely Normal Albertans should read the report and participate in the consultation process that will soon be launched.

You can read my earlier post here. As I concluded in that post, this is going to happen ready or not!

In addition to the survey there are other ways to connect with the policy group working on this, the  secretariat  drives the process.  The email address isacs@gov.ab.ca ‎

Kim Chapstick  is the Executive Director of Engagement and Outreach, Alberta Cannabis Secretariat, Government of Alberta – ‎Government of Alberta