Alberta prepared for cannabis legalization
With cannabis set to be legalized across the country in two days, the health and safety of Albertans remains a top priority for the provincial government.
Albertans can be confident the province is ready for legal cannabis following more than 18 months of preparation. After one of the largest public consultations in Alberta’s history, the government has built a legal cannabis system that keeps the drug out of the hands of children and keeps profits away from criminals. The system will also protect Albertans on our roads and in workplaces and public spaces.
The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) is the agency responsible for overseeing this new industry. Together with the Government of Alberta, AGLC is committed to a responsible, secure rollout of legal cannabis in the province.
“This is a big shift for our province and country, but it’s one that Alberta has prepared for over the last 18 months, and we are ready. We are managing and mitigating risks around cannabis legalization in our province, and all Albertans should have confidence that public health and safety remain a top priority.”
The AGLC has signed agreements with 15 licensed producers to supply cannabis products to the AGLC which will then provide it to retailers. On Oct. 17, an AGLC call centre will go live where Albertans can get more information on legal cannabis. The albertacannabis.org website will also be live and allow Albertans to purchase cannabis products online.
“We take our role as the regulator of liquor and gaming seriously. The safety of all Albertans is at the forefront of our work as we provide oversight to these industries, and that remains our focus as we add legal cannabis to our portfolio. We work every day to provide Albertans with choices they can trust.”
The province’s latest step in preparing for cannabis legalization is to provide new funding to Alberta municipalities. This money will be used to address legalization-related enforcement and other implementation costs at the local level.
“Our cities and towns are the front lines when dealing with many aspects of cannabis legalization. This funding will help offset some of the costs they’re facing. I look forward to continue working with local leaders to understand the real-world effects of legalization.”
While the province expects a net loss from legal cannabis this year and next, the government recognizes municipalities have costs related to the federal decision to legalize cannabis. In total, the province will provide $11.2 million over two years through the Municipal Cannabis Transition Program. Grants will be available for municipalities that have a population of more than 5,000 residents and are responsible for their own policing. The grants will help offset enforcement and other implementation costs at the local level.
The province will continue to work with municipalities to determine next steps and better understand the impacts during the first two years of legalization.