Public safety focus of legal cannabis regulations
Private cannabis retailers in Alberta will have a strict set of rules to follow, including mandatory background checks, when cannabis becomes legal this summer.
The regulations outline who can own cannabis stores, where they can be located, rules for staff, safety and security requirements, and other operational details for private retailers. While the regulations will be established provincewide, municipalities will have the ability to adjust certain aspects to best suit their communities.
“These regulations focus on keeping our communities safe, while protecting public health and promoting safety on roads, in workplaces and in public spaces. They’ll help keep cannabis out of the hands of youth, while ensuring consumers have access to safe products no matter where they live.”
The regulations include:
- Mandatory background checks for retail licence applicants.
- Mandatory training and background checks for all retail employees.
- One person, group or organization cannot hold more than 15 per cent of licences in Alberta.
- A 100-metre buffer for stores from schools and provincial health-care facilities. However, municipalities have the ability to adjust these buffer zones or add additional ones to best suit their communities’ needs
- Store hours set between 10 a.m. and 2 a.m., the same as liquor stores, with municipalities able to adjust these hours.
- Mandatory security measures in stores.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) is providing details on the licensing process for potential cannabis retailers. Licence applications will be accepted starting March 6, with more information available at aglc.ca/cannabis. The AGLC will also be responsible for operating online cannabis sales for the province. Details of the online e-commerce site will be unveiled later this year.
“For more than 20 years, the AGLC has been a regulatory leader in the management of Alberta’s gaming and liquor industries. We will continue to be a leader through age verification processes for online purchases and the promotion of responsible sale and consumption of legal cannabis.”
“The rapid growth in the cannabis sector is creating economic opportunities in commercial production as well as a variety of ancillary fields from technology to distribution. As a centre for agribusiness as well as a transportation hub and growing tech sector, we see the opportunity as an early mover to be an attractive location for investments in all aspects of the sector.”
The province has set the legal age for consumption and purchase of cannabis at 18. That means no one under the age of 18 can enter a cannabis store, even if accompanied by an adult.
- The AGLC will oversee distribution, compliance and enforcement of the cannabis retail system in Alberta.
- The AGLC has the authority to set strict regulatory guidelines and licence requirements for private cannabis retailers.
- No co-location of cannabis sales with alcohol, pharmaceuticals and tobacco sales will be permitted.
- Regulations will be aligned with federal rules around advertising, labelling and promotion of cannabis, with the ability to strengthen regulations provincially in the future.