A look at provincial marijuana plans
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, November 17, 2017 7:59AM EST
Alberta and Quebec are the latest provinces to outline their plans for the sale of marijuana with legalization looming next July 1. Here is a glance at provincial and territorial plans to date.
Alberta plans to control the online sale of pot, but will leave over-the-counter sales to private operators. Details on how sales would work have yet to be determined. Private pot stores would have to be physically separate from stores that sell alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals -- but how that would be legally defined is also undetermined. Stores would not be allowed to sell anything but cannabis and cannabis-related products.
British Columbia's NDP minority government hasn't come out with a set marijuana policy since forming government this summer, but Premier John Horgan has said marijuana legalization is long overdue. He supports a hybrid model of public and private operations, much like the province's current liquor regulations.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said marijuana would be sold in the province exclusively through private-sector retail outlets and online stores. The government will maintain a wholesale monopoly and regulate distribution, but private stores will sell the drug at a price they can set themselves. Municipalities can ban marijuana stores if they want and cannabis will not be allowed to be sold in the same stores as alcohol.
New Brunswick has proposed legislation that would set the minimum age at 19 and require users to lock up their marijuana when at home. A legislature committee has recommended selling marijuana through government-operated stores.
Newfoundland and Labrador Justice Minister Andrew Parsons has said most citizens who were recently surveyed favour privately-owned dispensaries, while stakeholders such as health and justice authorities favoured government-owned stores. Parsons said he expects legislation in the spring of next year.
Northwest Territories has been holding discussions with residents that include community meetings and an online survey, which has garnered a record response for a government online consultation tool.
Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey has said the province will release its recreational marijuana plans -- including minimum age and the retail model -- by the end of this year. He said his department is analyzing the results of an online survey to which 31,000 people responded between Oct. 6 and Oct. 27.
Nunavut completed initial stakeholder consultations through the summer of 2017 and was holding a public survey to help guide the development of policy and legislative options.
Ontario, the first province to outline its intentions, intends to sell the drug in up to 150 stores run by the Ontario Liquor Control Board to people 19 and older, with a ban on its consumption in public spaces or workplaces.
Prince Edward Island has held public consultations, asking islanders to weigh in on the legal age, where marijuana should be sold, how it's used in public and growing weed at home, among other issues.
Quebec has tabled a bill whereby all pot would be sold through the provincially-run liquor board, although there is flexibility for exceptions. Quebec plans to open 15 marijuana stores by July 1 and control sales online. The bill also makes it illegal to cultivate pot for personal or commercial use, unless authorized, and limits possession in a home to 150 grams and to 30 grams on a person. There will also be a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of any drug.
Saskatchewan has held a public consultation on how legalization should happen in the province. The province said in the recent throne speech that it will introduce pot legislation once a review is completed this fall.
Yukon held a survey which closed on Sep. 30 and is using the results to form its marijuana policy. The government says 81 per cent of the more than 3,100 responses to the survey support legalization.