On Monday the Saskatchewan government announced that pot will be sold through private retailers and will be regulated by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.
For Regina Mayor Michael Fougere, its one piece of a large puzzle, many questions are still unanswered when it comes to how cannabis will be regulated in the province.
“What’s the minimum age? Is it 25…18…Is it 19?” Fougere wondered aloud. “That’s very important if you’re going to be stopping someone on the road that’s impaired, or someone who is buying underage. We need to have some answers.”
The lack of answers means municipalities across the province are facing similar issues.
“There is some discussion we need to wrap our heads around, with our police service and our local business improvement districts and our own bylaws and zoning,” Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said.
There is no word on how pot will be distributed, where it can be consumed, and if municipalities will see any money from the marijuana tax.
“We can talk about what we think it will look like, but until we have direction from the province on how we will implement and enforce criminal code activity we need to have that information first,” Fougere said.
The province said on Monday that they are working to finalize details in the coming weeks, and show have more answers in the spring. Likely when a new premier is chosen.
“I think a lot of work has been done behind the scenes that we’re not seeing yet,” explained University of Regina Economics Professor Jason Childs.
“This was an incredible complex issue that, quite frankly, the federal government acted too quickly on.”
Although the legalization date is fast approaching, Childs said it’s actually okay if we’re not ready by the time it arrives.
“It’s better to have something done, and right, than [to] throw something together,” Childs said.
Saskatoon City Council has voted to group marijuana with their smoking bylaw. In Regina an executive committee will present to council soon.
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