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A Quick Guide to Cannabis in Alberta

A Quick Guide to Cannabis in Alberta

Since October 17, 2018 consumers across the nation have been rejoicing in no longer being penalized for their recreational use of cannabis, and the folks in Alberta definitely went gungho! The lineup at the shop has been long yet the wait has been well worth it.  But just because it’s now legal, that doesn’t make it a free for all to leave the streets clouded in smoke. The federal government has given every province free reign to set its own legislation on the substance. As an Albertan it is up to you to keep yourself up to date with the new legislations to keep yourself out of harm’s way and within the bounds of the law. Here is a quick guide to the laws surrounding distribution, retail, possession, consumption, and impairment! 


Distribution

The provincial legislation is an Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis. This contains categories from possession and consumption to sales and production. AGLC or the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has headed the charge on regulating safe consumption of cannabis for Albertans being the provinces sole distributor of the product.  


Retail

Cannabis will be sold through private specialized shops under the employ of AGLC’s SellSafe certified retail staff and the government-run website (albertacannabis.org). Storefronts may carry and supply a wide variety of accessories for consumption. Anything from pipes and rolling papers to more elaborate devices such as bongs or table top vaporizers. Cannabis retailers may not carry alcoholic products. (You’ll have to go to another retailer for liquor.) Shops are also subject to a 100 meter buffer between schools, school reserves, and provincial health-care facilities. There is no cap on how many shops may be permitted in the province but no person or entity may own more than 15% of retail cannabis licenses. With the predicted 250 stores to open in Alberta 15% would be 37 licenses.


Patrons must be at least 18 years of age to enter the premises of cannabis retailers and can have their government issued identification requested for proof of age if they look younger than 25 years of age. (A second piece of ID may be requested if the primary one is questionable.)


Possession and Consumption

In Alberta you are permitted to grow up to four plants in your own home. Property management companies and condo boards have the final say, and many have put restrictions on personal practise in place. Be sure to check with your landlord before you find yourself evicted for breaking the terms of your lease.


Adults age 18 years minimum may not consume on any hospitals, school grounds, child-care facilities or anywhere that smoking cigarettes is prohibited. Which is basic common courtesy.


Consumers may carry up to 30 grams–(which is slightly more than an ounce) on their persons in public. The transport of cannabis is prohibited unless the product is in closed packaging and out of reach of all occupants of the vehicle, much like the legislations on driving with alcohol in your vehicle.



Impairment

According to canada.ca: impairment can last more than 24 hours after cannabis use. Driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs is a criminal offense and has been since 1925. Cannabis impaired driving can result in death or injury to you, your passengers and others–drivers and pedestrians alike. There are no standardised waiting times to drive after using Cannabis, so opting to use a cab or a rideshare or even opting to stay the night is the safe choice. If you are caught driving under the influence of cannabis or other drugs you may face consequences such as fines, criminal charges and even jail time.


If you are new to cannabis consumption a great rule of thumb is to start low and go slow. Meaning keep the dosage low and slowly increase in controllable increments to reach the desired experience.


Addressing impairment in the workplace is the responsibility of both employers and employees alike. Meaning everyone has their role to play in preventing workplace hazards caused by cannabis or other substances. Health Canada highly recommends against using cannabis in the workplace as the psychoactive effects of THC are an impairment.


There are many online resources to learn about impairment legislations in Canada. Be sure to keep yourself properly informed concerning the consumption of the budding legality of cannabis. Check out these links!


https://www.canada.ca/en/campaign/don-t-drive-high.html


https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/health-safety/cannabis-workplace.html


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