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Provincial cannabis plan coming Monday

The province of Alberta has announced they will release their plan for the pending legalization of marijuana Monday. As of July 1st, 2018 pot will be legal across the country, but it will be left up to the provinces as to how they individually handle guidelines.

The NDP have quietly gone about the process so far, with almost no details made public ahead of time. During her recent visit to Grande Prairie, Premier Rachel Notley said they have no interest in revisiting the question of legalization, a question she feels was covered in the recent federal election.

“Our job as provinces is to make sure that we roll it out in a way that is very focused on public health and public safety and ensuring that we are able to get rid of the black market.”

She says there is a lot of learning that has to happen quickly, which she expects to be a challenge. The plan released Monday will just be a first draft with public consultation expected to follow.

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“We have certainly made that case to the federal government, that they’re asking us to do a lot in a very short period of time. We would frankly like to see them consider giving us a bit more time to get some of our ducks lined up.”

Questions still remain about the role municipalities would play in deciding where distribution would occur, but Notley compares it to the way they can dictate rules around liquor stores. She says there will be many ways the rules will effect cities and counties as well, including increasing the cost of policing.

So far Ontario is the only other province to release their guidelines. Their plan follows a similar structure to their “LCBO” set up for alcohol sales.

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