Safeguards for cannabis sales
Albertans of legal age will be able to purchase cannabis products from retailers that will receive their products from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC).
The distribution system will be similar to the system Alberta currently has in place for alcohol.
Government-regulated distribution will ensure a level playing field for large and craft producers, and prevents small communities from being penalized for delivery costs by making sure product is shipped at the same price no matter where it’s going.
All physical retail locations will have strict government oversight through licensing by the AGLC. The AGLC will be able to set terms and conditions on licences, as well as inspect licensees and address any violations. This will help ensure private cannabis retailers operate responsibly and lawfully.
Licensed retail establishments will be the only stores that can sell cannabis, and will not be able to sell cannabis if they sell alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals.
Legislation will help keep cannabis out of the hands of young people by requiring purchasers to show ID if they appear under to be 25, not allowing minors to purchase cannabis or be on licensed premises.
Provincial regulations establish who can own and operate a cannabis retailer. This includes:
- mandatory background checks for potential retailers and workers
- no licenses for applicants linked to organized crime, illegal drug trade or with convictions related to offenses such as drug trafficking or violence
- renewal of retail licenses required at least once every 2 years
- limiting licenses for any single person, business or organization at 15%
- the AGLC will limit licenses each year based on existing licenses issued the previous year
- allows smaller retailers to enter the market
- review of system in 5 years
Staff who work at cannabis retail outlets will have to be at least 18 years of age, undergo a background check and complete mandatory AGLC training through a program called Sell Safe. This 4-6 hour course is similar to what employees in the gaming and liquor sectors must complete. This program will launch later this year in advance of legalization.
Additionally, the regulations establish where private cannabis retail can be located. A 100 meter buffer between cannabis retailers and schools and provincial health care facilities will help keep cannabis out of the hands of children and protect public health. Municipalities will also have the ability to will have the ability to set buffers to suit their communities.
Cannabis retailers may be open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., the same as liquor stores. They will subject to extensive security requirements.