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Province tables cannabis legislation

November 21, 2017

On November 17, 2017, the province tabled An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis, the legislation that sets out how non-medicinal cannabis will be distributed and sold in Alberta. 

The Act will allow for two kinds of cannabis retail sales in Alberta:

  • Privately-operated physical retail locations
  • Government-operated online retail sales.

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) will be responsible for overseeing private retail stores, and details on licensing will be available early next year.

The Act will also amend the Gaming and Liquor Act to rename it the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act and to align with many of the details outlined in the Alberta Cannabis Framework.

This includes:

  • Setting the minimum age for purchase and use at 18.
  • Establishing provincial offences for anyone under 18 who possesses five grams or less of cannabis.
  • Giving the AGLC the mandate to oversee distribution, compliance, and enforcement of the cannabis retail system in Alberta.
  • Establishing authority to set regulatory guidelines and licence requirements for private cannabis retailers.
  • Banning co-location of cannabis sales with alcohol, pharmaceuticals and tobacco sales.
  • Operating online cannabis sales.
  • Establishing restrictions around where cannabis can be smoked and vaped in public.
  • Establishing authority to further regulate advertising, labelling, and promotion of cannabis if required after federal regulations are established.

Many of the details of legalization that will be most relevant to municipalities, such as licensing, hours of operation, setback distances, and the potential to exceed or vary from provincial minimum requirements, will be further specified in the Act’s regulations. Regulatory development is anticipated to begin early in the New Year, and AUMA will continue to engage with and advocate on behalf of our members during this process.

Visit the Government of Alberta website for full details of the Alberta Cannabis Framework and proposed legislation. The AUMA website also includes information about AUMA’s advocacy on this topic, as well as resources to support municipalities during implementation.