Many provinces have begun to put some structure behind next year’s planned cannabis sales. A recent plan was unveiled this week outlining how cannabis would be distributed both in retail outlets and online. With the push for regulatory framework and the need to be in place by July, both Manitoba and Alberta government officials announced their plans for legal cannabis sales with a roadmap to eliminate half of the black market within the first year.
In Alberta, the decision was made to introduce legislation that will allow businesses in the private sector to operate brick and mortar retail stores, while the government handles online distribution. While there is always some opposition, it is expected that the measure will pass without much fanfare in December. As part of the final agreement. Some of the funds generated by the government will be used for drug education and prevention programs, which are already in the planning stages. No local changes are planned to the federal governments limit of 30 grams of personal possession and four flowering plants per household.
Manitoba is following suit in a similar fashion, allowing for both government and private sector sales. One decision, which many will frown upon, is the massive amount of control handed over to the Liquor and Gaming Authority. While still a neutral government body, the liquor industry has always had a notorious amount of pull on government regulation, and it is the liquor industry who is just now coming around to the fact that cannabis is happening. This opens the door for alcohol companies inserting themselves into the cannabis equation, as similar events in Las Vegas recently demonstrated.
Both Manitoba and Alberta provincial governments acknowledge that these initial plans are just the beginning and that they are open to suggestions and feedback from the community on how to shape future regulation. With the July 2018 deadline coming quicker than most probably anticipated, the urgency to work out the fine details is becoming more and more apparent. Fortunately, the provincial governments and business leaders have been working together and not clashing on the major issues, which will make the transition to legalization that much smoother come next summer.
Davie is a long time cannabis professional who has worked not only as a cultivator but in all aspects of retail cannabis. From budtender, to wholesale and retail management, and from harvester to advanced hydroponic specialist, Davie has been around the block more than once. Now residing in beautiful British Columbia, Davie now works with acres of greenhouses, producing some of the best buds in the country.