Alberta’s Approach to Cannabis Legalization

Last April, the federal government tabled proposed legislation which would legalize, regulate and restrict access to cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana.) Cannabis is currently an illegal substance (with the exception of authorized medical use) under the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

While the federal legislation outlines a broad policy, the provinces and territories have a role in determining how cannabis will be distributed and consumed locally. Other areas of focus are to keep profits away from criminals, keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and protect roads, workplaces and public health.

As a result, until July 31, 2017, Albertans are invited to participate in an online survey to provide feedback on how the province will adapt to cannabis legalization. The online survey is designed to gather input on:

  • Alberta’s cannabis goals
  • purchasing cannabis
  • using cannabis in public
  • setting the legal age
  • protecting roads and workplaces
  • economic implications and opportunities

There is also an opportunity for individuals, organizations and associations to provide written submissions through stakeholder engagements.

Responses to the survey, along with a series of stakeholder engagements (round-table meetings, sector-specific meetings and surveys at public events across Alberta), will help guide how Alberta will adapt to proposed federal legislation that would legalize cannabis by July 2018.

Subsequently, Albertans will have another opportunity to provide their feedback on the framework and the direction the Alberta government will take.

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