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Alberta to set legal marijuana age at 18

The Alberta government has released their proposed framework for the legalization of marijuana across Canada next July. In a conference led by Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley, the government announced that the legal age to purchase and smoke cannabis in Alberta would follow that of alcohol at 18 years old.

Adults would also be able to possess and purchase up to to 30 grams at once, though Ganley clarified there are no plans to limit how much can be kept at home. Smoking would be allowed in private residences as well as some public spaces like camping sites, but not in vehicles, schools and hospitals or near where children frequent such as playgrounds, splash parks and zoos.

The province would allow home growing up to four plants a metre tall each, but unlike Ottawa’s guidelines, is limiting growing to indoors only. However, the federal government just removed the height restriction from Bill C-45 on Tuesday, so it remains to be seen if Alberta will follow suit.

Some areas of legalization still remain unclear. The government says that distribution of cannabis would be handled by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, as is the case with alcohol.

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It appears to be undecided, however, if retail locations would be either government or publicly run or a mix of both. What is for sure is that these stores would have strict regulations on hours of operation, where they can be located and that they won’t be able to sell alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals as well.

Some other restrictions would remain in place as well. Legalization of edibles has been set aside for a later time by the feds, and the province says plans for online sales remain in the works. Municipal governments would also be given the authority to implement further restrictions as they see fit.

The province is running an online survey on the issue of legalization until October 27th. A final version of the framework and legislation is expected to be introduced later this winter.

Written by Chris Hunter, Country 99

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