Politics & Landscape

April 19, 2018

Clearing the Haze

4 top stories in Canadian cannabis

The Canadian cannabis industry is moving at a breakneck pace. Every day, provinces and municipalities are passing new laws to prepare for the legalization of recreational marijuana in their regions.

Are you allowed to consume cannabis in public? How can you transport it from place to place? Where can retailers set up shop? From Prince Edward Island to British Columbia, it’s a complex, ever-changing landscape, with legislation varying throughout every corner of the country.

Luckily, we’ve rounded up 4 big stories in Canadian cannabis news, so you can stay up to snuff on your knowledge.

Ontario announces first 4 cannabis retail locations

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the Ontario Cannabis Store recently announced that the province’s first four marijuana shops will be in Guelph, Kingston, Toronto and Thunder Bay. Factors in the decision included proximity to schools, illegal dispensaries in the area and local zoning laws.

The LCBO’s plan is to open 40 government-run OCS stores in 2018, 40 more stores by 2019 and another 70 by 2020. Expect to see shops popping up in existing buildings and suburban malls across local neighbourhoods.

Alberta updates its cannabis regulations

The Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission (AGLC) made some big announcements on its provincials regulations for recreational cannabis. Here are the takeaways:

  • Cannabis shop names and signage can’t reference health, medicine or pharmaceutical terms. Words like medicinal, therapeutic, drug store, clinicor dispensary are off limits.
  • To prevent second-hand smoke, businesses can’t allow people to smoke or vape cannabis on their premises.
  • Suppliers and retailers can’t tamper with cannabis products on the way from a production facility to a store.
  • Cannabis workers must be vetted and added to a “qualified employees” provincial database.
  • When edibles become legal, Albertans are allowed to consume them in public, except in vehicles.
  • In towns too small for a cannabis outlet, general stores may apply for a permit to sell the plant.

When writing the new bill, the Alberta government focused on promoting a dynamic cannabis industry with smart, practical regulations, creating a safe and healthy environment for residents.

Saskatchewan allows cannabis in provincial parks

Saskatchewan recently passed the Cannabis Control Act, answering some nagging questions about where and how residents can consume marijuana.

Anywhere in public, including parks and vehicles, is a no-go for consumption. The Saskatchewan government expects residents to keep cannabis to private areas and residences only.

However, there is a special exemption to the outdoor rule: provincial parks. So, good news, if you’re out on a campsite in the Saskatchewan wilderness, you can consume marijuana in and around your tent or trailer.

Victoria and Calgary move to ban public consumption

Despite the B.C. government’s recommendation to allow cannabis in public spaces, the City of Victoria has passed an amendment to the Clean Air Bylaw that prohibits consuming cannabis in fields, playgrounds and open squares.

The City of Calgary is aiming to pass a similar public consumption ban, even though the Alberta government has outlined that laws for smoking and vaping outdoors should fall under existing tobacco regulations.

It goes to show—your province may introduce a certain law about cannabis, but it’s essential to keep aware of the ways bylaws vary within your city or town.

That’s all for April’s cannabis news and politics round-up. Keep your eye on our blog and social media to stay current on all things Canadian cannabis.