Minors not allowed in cannabis shops, says provincial regulator

Minors, even those accompanied by adults, will be barred from stores selling cannabis this fall, says the body overseeing liquor and pot retailing.

Although marketing of the drug is being rolled out to mirror the longtime sale of alcohol in some ways, limits on who’s allowed into stores selling bud and its extracts will be stricter, said Heather Holmen, spokeswoman for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC).

“There’ll be no minors with or without adults, the province has been firm on that,” she said, noting the minimum legal age to possess and use cannabis in Alberta will be 18.

By contrast, those under age 18 are legally allowed to enter liquor outlets if they’re with an adult.

The discrepancy reflects the province’s determination to keep marijuana out of the hands of youths, as well as the reality of legalizing a substance that’s been prohibited recreationally for 80 years, said Holmen.“There’s a potential risk of entering this restricted market — it needs to be cautious,” she said.

“Whether it stays that way down the road remains to be seen.”

She said local law enforcement, not the AGLC, will be upholding the youth prohibition in cannabis shops.

In Calgary, like alcohol, it’ll be illegal to consume cannabis in public places, though city council has chosen to set aside designated pot smoking areas.

And the AGLC says it will have a registry of cannabis outlets ready when legalization takes effect Oct. 17, just as it has for the province’s 1,500 liquor stores.

As with liquor stores, there’s no limit to the number of cannabis retail licences to be issued.

The commission will be operating online cannabis sales which Holmen said will strictly ensure only adults are served.

“We do have the most age-stringent online system, other jurisdictions are looking at the AGLC,” she said.

Those measures include the showing of government-issued identification at the point of sale, in setting up a purchase account and when receiving an order.

“You can renew your registration online or as you would at any registry office,” said Holmen.

Truck-delivered purchases are forbidden to be left on doorsteps, she added.

The first months of legal recreational cannabis sales in Canada will be confined to dried flower and oil-type extracts, with Ottawa saying edibles could come online some time next year.

BKaufmann@postmedia.com

on Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

SOURCE = https://calgaryherald.com/cannabis/cannabis-business/cannabis-small-business/no-minors-in-cannabis-shops-says-provincial-regulator