Cannabis in Alberta may well be strong but it is unlikely to be free.

Alberta passed legislation in November 2017 in the form of Bill 26, An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis, which regulates the use and sale of cannabis within the province.

The main elements of the Alberta cannabis laws are:

  • Cannabis can be sold by privately owned and operated retailers, as long as they are licensed by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission;
  • All online sales will be controlled by the Alberta government;
  • The minimum age to purchase, possess and use cannabis in Alberta is 18.
  • Adults may possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis;
  • Adults may cultivate up to four cannabis plants but only at their personal residence.
  • Smoking cannabis is restricted by the same rules applying to where you can smoke tobacco, but in addition the law strictly prohibits the smoking of cannabis at schools, daycares, hospitals and and place that children frequent (so don’t even think about consuming cannabis at the zoo, which is expressly called out as a non-permitted place in the law).

The legislation makes it clear that the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission will buy all cannabis and then sell it onto retailers at a fixed price, ensuring that there is no price competition in the sale of cannabis in Alberta. It is also not permitted to give employees at cannabis retailers any incentives or targets to encourage them to sell more cannabis to the general public.

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