A brief look at provincial approaches to recreational marijuana sales - 660 NEWS
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A brief look at provincial approaches to recreational marijuana sales

Last Updated Dec 5, 2017 at 4:40 pm MST

British Columbia and Manitoba are the latest provinces to outline their plans for the sale of marijuana with legalization looming July 1. Here is a glance at provincial and territorial plans to date.

— Alberta plans to control the online sale of pot, but will leave over-the-counter sales to private operators. Details on how sales would work have yet to be determined. Private pot stores would have to be physically separate from stores that sell alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals, but how that would be legally defined is also undetermined. Stores would not be allowed to sell anything but cannabis and cannabis-related products.

— British Columbia has set the age of consumption at 19, with retail sales allowed through both public and private stores. Retailers will have to get their supply of cannabis from the government’s wholesale distribution system used for alcohol.

— Manitoba also plans to set its legal age at 19, a year later than the legal age for drinking alcohol. The government’s legislation would also prohibit people from growing cannabis at home for recreational purposes. Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries would regulate the sale of cannabis and municipal governments would have the option to ban sales by referendum.

— New Brunswick has proposed legislation that would set the minimum age at 19 and requires users to lock away their marijuana when its in their home. A legislature committee has recommended selling marijuana through government-operated stores.

— Newfoundland and Labrador will allow sales in private stores with the legal age set at 19. The Crown-owned liquor corporation will oversee the distribution to private retailers. Consumption will be restricted to private residences.

— The Northwest Territories has been holding discussions with residents that include community meetings and an online survey, which has garnered a record response for a government online consultation tool.

— Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey has said the province will release its recreational marijuana plans — including minimum age and the retail model — by the end of this year. His department is analyzing the results of an online survey to which 31,000 people responded between Oct. 6 and Oct. 27.

— Nunavut completed initial stakeholder consultations through the summer of 2017 and was holding a public survey to help guide the development of policy and legislative options.

— Ontario intends to sell the drug in up to 150 stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario to people 19 and older, with a ban on its consumption in public spaces or workplaces.

— Prince Edward Island has held public consultations, asking islanders to weigh in on the legal age, where marijuana should be sold, how it’s used in public and growing weed at home, among other issues.

— Quebec has tabled a bill whereby all pot would be sold through the provincially run liquor board, although there is flexibility for exceptions. Quebec plans to open 15 marijuana stores by July 1 and control sales online. The bill also makes it illegal to cultivate pot for personal or commercial use, unless authorized, and limits possession in a home to 150 grams, and to 30 grams on a person. There will also be a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of any drug.

— Saskatchewan has held a public consultation. The province said in its recent throne speech that it will introduce pot legislation once a review is completed this fall.

— Yukon has proposed 19 as the minimum age for the consumption of recreational marijuana, and would limit possession to 30 grams. Its proposals would also allow four plants to be grown per household. The public has until Dec. 20 to comment on the proposed framework, which includes initially limiting distribution and sales to government outlets.

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