Province preparing new pot legislation ahead of legalization

By Sarah Mills/CJME News Staff
November 17, 2017 - 5:44pm

There are unlikely to be government-run pot stores like there are for liquor in Saskatchewan.

The government is not interested in getting involved in the ownership or marketing of marijuana.

Instead, Justice Minister Don Morgan is confirming the province will instead concentrate on the product.

Saskatchewan is preparing legislation for the legalization of pot which will be introduced before the end of the fall sitting of the legislature on Dec. 7.

However, there is still much to be decided before that can be done, like determining an age limit.

“You could through our caucus and get a variety of different opinions and you could read the different studies and get a variety of different opinions there, so that is one thing that has not yet been determined,” Morgan confirmed. “You would like to have an age that would be old enough to keep it out of schools but not make it so restrictive that you try and bolster an underground economy.”

A new study by the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy makes 40 recommendations on how the legalization of marijuana should be dealt with in Saskatchewan.

It includes things like having a private single distribution system, to initially keep taxes low to compete with the illicit market, and make the age limit the same as buying alcohol. The report also suggests an annual economic activity for the province of $250 million if pot were priced at $10 per gram, based on consumption estimates.

Morgan maintained the government is monitoring not just what other provinces do, but also the various studies that do exist across the country.

He adds his primary concern with the legislation is to protect young people and keep impaired drivers off the road and in workplaces.

Marijuana becomes legal in Canada on July 1, 2018.

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