The Saskatchewan government has announced marijuana will be sold by private companies after the drug is federally legalized.
‘Our government is being diligent to ensure the sale and regulation of cannabis in Saskatchewan strikes a balance between public safety and access for consumers.’
– Gene Makowsky, minister responsible for SLGA
Gene Makowsky, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), said the move was made under a tough deadline. The federal government is pushing for a legalization date of July 1.
“The federal government has established very aggressive timelines for the legalization of cannabis,” Makowsky said in a news release.
“Our government is being diligent to ensure the sale and regulation of cannabis in Saskatchewan strikes a balance between public safety and access for consumers.”
Under the new rules, SLGA will issue about 60 retail permits to private stores located in roughly 40 municipalities and First Nations across the province. Municipalities will have the option to opt out of having a cannabis store if they choose.
Saskatoon will be given seven licenses, while Regina will receive six. Smaller cities such as Prince Albert, Moose Jaw and Lloydminster will receive two.
SLGA will regulate
As with private liquor stores, SLGA will regulate wholesaling and retailing.
Stores will be limited to selling marijuana and marijuana accessories. They will also have to track and report inventory, and will only be able to buy from regulated wholesalers.
Eventually, a lottery will be held to select stores that will qualify for a permit.
The province still hasn’t announced the minimum age for cannabis consumption. That will be made later this spring.