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 legislationOur framework and legislation set the stage for the legal and responsible use of cannabis by Albertans.
What we heardAlbertans shared their feedback on cannabis legalization in Alberta through extensive public engagement in summer and fall of 2017.
Cannabis legalization in CanadaWhile legalization is a federal decision, the provinces and municipalities have areas of responsibility. See Alberta's plan for action.
About cannabisBasic information about cannabis (marijuana), its potential health effects, and statistics on how it’s used in Alberta.
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:
- keeping cannabis out of the hands of children and youth
- protecting safety on roads, in workplaces and in public spaces
- protecting public health
- 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:
- Provide authority for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission to carry out oversight and compliance functions as well as manage the distribution of cannabis.
- Establish the authority to carry out public online sales, and to license privately owned and operated cannabis stores with strong oversight and provincewide rules.
- 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.
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.
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
Released draft of the Alberta Cannabis Framework for further public and stakeholder input, and to gather more input on Alberta's retail options
Confirm the approach outlined in the Alberta Cannabis Framework and introduce legislation to enable aspects of the framework
Target date for cannabis to be legal in Canada
Please note: Details on the process and requirements for licensing private cannabis retail is expected in the new year.
- Proposed cannabis legislation focuses on safety (Nov 16, 2017)
- Alberta to bolster drug-impaired driving laws (Nov 14, 2017)
- Draft cannabis framework: last chance for input (Oct 20, 2017)
- Proposed Alberta Cannabis Framework released (Oct 4, 2017)
- Still time to have your say on cannabis legalization (July 20, 2017)
- Have your say on cannabis legalization (June 2, 2017)
- Minister Kathleen Ganley responds to federal legislation (April 13, 2017)
- Minister travels to Colorado to research cannabis policies (October 18, 2016)