Details on where the provinces and territories stand on looming pot legalization | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Details on where the provinces and territories stand on looming pot legalization

Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, centre, Attorney General, Yasir Naqvi, left, and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Eric Hoskins speak during a press conference where they detailed Ontario's solution for recreational marijuana sales, in Toronto on Friday, September 8, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
September 08, 2017 - 2:30 PM

With marijuana legalization looming next summer, Ontario has outlined its plan for the sale of weed. Here's what's happening in the rest of the country.

— Alberta held public consultations on legalization through the summer. It says it is currently reviewing the results with the hope of having draft rules out this fall. The province's justice minister has previously said Alberta expects help from Ottawa covering any extra costs associated with enforcement.

— British Columbia's NDP minority government hasn't come out with a set marijuana policy since forming government this summer, but Premier John Horgan has said marijuana legalization is long overdue. He supports a hybrid model of public and private operations, much like the province's current liquor regulations, when it comes to marijuana.

— Manitoba has been perhaps the loudest voice calling for the federal government to delay legalization while the provinces work through the issues. The province has sought the input of potential producers and vendors in the private sector as it considers its options. However, the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union is opposed to private sales and is pushing for weed to be sold through government liquor stores.

— A New Brunswick legislature committee is recommending selling marijuana through government-operated stores to anyone 19 years or older. The report from the select committee on cannabis, released last week, said the province needs to keep weed away from young people, and shut out organized crime.

— Newfoundland and Labrador isn't necessarily going to follow Ontario's lead as it is working on its model. Justice Minister Andrew Parsons said Friday a majority of citizens surveyed favour privately owned dispensaries, while stakeholders such as health and justice authorities favoured using government-owned stores. Parsons said he expects legislation in spring of next year.

— Northwest Territories is in the middle of discussions with residents that includes hosting community meetings and an online survey that has garnered a record response for a government online consultation tool.

— Nova Scotia is set to hold consultations with the public in the fall. The Department of Justice is taking the lead on the marijuana file and says the health of children and youth is the top priority and is looking at various distribution models and its taxation plans.

— Nunavut completed initial stakeholder consultations through the summer of 2017 and is currently holding a public survey to help guide the development of policy and legislative options.

— Quebec is currently holding public hearings into the legalization of cannabis and hopes to table legislation this fall. Premier Philippe Couillard has said he has certain concerns about the federal government's plan to legalize the drug for adults. He says he understands each province will not have an identical approach to cannabis, but adds "we cannot have vastly different frameworks, particularly for provinces that are neighbours."

— Saskatchewan is launching a public consultation on how legalization should happen in the province. It wants to know people's thoughts on age limits, public consumption, distribution and taxation. The consultations are to run until Oct. 6.

— Prince Edward Island is holding public consultations until the end of September. They're asking islanders to weigh in on the legal age, where marijuana should be sold, how its used in public, growing weed at home, among other issues.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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