The Alberta Liquor Store Association is ready and willing to start selling legal marijuana at existing booze retailers.
And, a new poll commissioned by the ALSA finds 52 per cent of Albertans want the province to explore the idea.
ALSA President Ivonne Martinez said in most cities, these businesses are already zoned to be away from schools and playgrounds, and the staff is highly trained to sell a controlled substance.
“And that is a huge process, that if the Alberta government wants to try and meet the really fast deadlines, it makes sense to use existing infrastructure,” she said.
“Instead of the government spending all of this money building stores, hiring people, business people are the ones that take the liability of the cost.”
The industry has already mapped out what store layouts would look like: bud wouldn’t be sold next to bottles.
“We know it needs to be sold in a different way, especially since it’s going to be new for so many people — a store within a store, but with a separate entrance, where people can go in, get verified for whatever the Government of Alberta decides is going to be the minimum age,” Martinez said, adding there would be an opportunity to educate the customer one on one about the drug.
Martinez said they are at the table, talking to politicians.
“We realize that they have to look at all options available to them. The one thing we always just try and remind them is the legislation itself from Ottawa does not restrict co-location.”