Alberta’s approach to cannabis legalization

The federal government introduced legislation to legalize cannabis by July 2018. Alberta can decide how it will adapt to this legislation.

Status: Bill 26 introduced Nov 16, 2017
Ministry responsible: Justice and Solicitor General

Alberta Cannabis Framework and proposed legislation

The Alberta Cannabis Framework was developed following extensive public and stakeholder engagement to best achieve our 4 policy priorities for cannabis legalization in our province:

  1. keeping cannabis out of the hands of children and youth
  2. protecting safety on roads, in workplaces and in public spaces
  3. protecting public health
  4. limiting the illegal market for cannabis

Bill 26: An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis has been introduced to empower elements of the framework through legislation, which are largely coming in the form of proposed amendments to the Gaming and Liquor Act.

Overall, if passed, these amendments will do 3 things:

  1. Provide authority for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission to carry out oversight and compliance functions as well as manage the distribution of cannabis.
  2. Establish the authority to carry out public online sales, and to license privately owned and operated cannabis stores with strong oversight and provincewide rules.
  3. Establish provincial offences related to youth possession, public consumption and consumption of cannabis in vehicles.

Details on private cannabis retail, including the process and requirements for obtaining a licence, are expected in the new year.

Learn more: Alberta Cannabis Framework and proposed legislation

What we heard

From June 2 to October 27, 2017, we held extensive public and stakeholder engagement so Albertans could share their thoughts, questions, expertise and ideas about cannabis.

More than 60,000 Albertans shared their input through two online surveys and in hundreds of written submissions. We also conducted additional public opinion research to ensure we heard from people across the province.

Learn more: What we heard

Timeline

  • April 13, 2017

    Introduction of federal cannabis legislation

  • June 2 - July 31, 2017

    Completed public and stakeholder engagement on Alberta's approach to cannabis legalization

  • August - September 2017

    Reviewed engagement findings and development of the Alberta Cannabis Framework

  • Fall 2017

    Released draft of the Alberta Cannabis Framework for further public and stakeholder input, and to gather more input on Alberta's retail options

  • Winter 2018

    Confirm the approach outlined in the Alberta Cannabis Framework and introduce legislation to enable aspects of the framework

  • July 2018

    Target date for cannabis to be legal in Canada

Contact us

Cannabis Secretariat
acs@gov.ab.ca
Please note: Details on the process and requirements for licensing private cannabis retail is expected in the new year.

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