The province of Alberta is finalizing the regulations for the legalization of marijuana.
New rules are now in place for people looking to operate their own store, who they can hire, where the shop can be located, and operations.
Any individual wanting to start their own marijuana retail store will need to have a criminal background check done. People with prior records around drugs including trafficking will be denied while possession charges won’t eliminate the candidate.
Along with the potential owners, employees will also need to submit their own background check with the same rules applying to them.
“This benefit the industry by ensuring we have qualified workers who can help protect public safety and public health,” said Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. “It also benefits employees who will have qualifications that will enable them to work in any cannabis retail store.”
The location of each shop must be 100 metres away from schools and health care facilities. They will also operate on the same hours as liquor stores – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Each municipality can also reduce the hours of operations and add to the distance from schools and health centres.
Security cameras will be mandatory and children and youth who aren’t 18 won’t be allowed in the stores.
“We believe our regulations will strike right balance – the system we’re putting in place in Alberta will create an environment in which retailers can legally sell cannabis and provide access to safe products while keeping the health and safety of Albertans in mind,” added Ganley.
Right now, it’s expected that 250 stores will be operational within the first year.
Licence applications will be accepted starting March 6. There is also a cap on the percentage of licenses a group or individual can own across the province at 15 per cent.