Alberta has always been known as a more conservative province, but in the wake of Cannabis legalization some might think twice.
The only political parties that didn’t vote yes to legalization where the Conservatives, the Bloc, and the Quebec Debout. However many of the conservatives abstained from voting because they had investments in the cannabis industry and couldn’t contradict their parties wishes. Quebec is also one of the harshest provinces on Cannabis legalization, some of the highest penalties for driving high, and very little freedom to actually smoke the plant. Now given they mostly voted no on legalization it’s easy to see why, but Alberta is a bit of an anomaly. Alberta is actually one of the most open provinces when it came to Cannabis. Our laws aren’t as harsh as the other provinces, and many farmers and new business owners are very interested in the industry.
You can take a look and compare punishments for driving high here.
There has also been more misleading information about Cannabis, It’s still technically not legal to use it on the street like a cigarette. Many apartment buildings have banned its use inside and on balconies, as well as many post-secondary education campus’. There is talk of getting special bars put up to consume cannabis inside but none have been established yet. Even some of the maps that have been put up by municipalities have been incorrect. Such as this one for Calgary.
The dark green dots on the map represent stores that have been released and the light green means they are approved but not released. The problem is the Alberta government stopped giving out licenses and lot of the stores can’t open up. Many Business owners are stuck in limbo while they wait to complete their store, some are fully ready but can’t legally continue. A popular blogger, Crack Macs has made their own interactive Cannabis map for Calgary that is much more accurate.
One of the reasons behind the approval issues is the shortage in product to put into the market. The government highly underestimated how popular Cannabis would be and are having a tough time keeping enough product in stock. Some medical companies are selling to the public as well, making it difficult for people to get their medicine. Luckily some companies like Canna Farms, Broken Coast, and Beacon medical are putting priority on medical patients. This really helps balance the scales for those who truly need it.
Some of the other concerns Cannabis users have is the lack of edible products in the market. The government is having a hard time regulating how consistent each batch is, which is the same problem facing concentrates. Concentrates or extractions are made from using Propane, Butane or C02 to extract the active drug THC from cannabis plants. They are known to be very potent but much cleaner then smoking the plant and inhaling all the burnt carcinogens. There are other methods of doing this that don’t require using other chemicals, such as rosin, which is made from applying high heat and pressure and squeezing all the essential oils from the plant, along with the THC. Unfortunately, the federal government appears to be a little behind the times and won’t recognize or legalize concentrates, which has many heavy cannabis users upset as they believe it’s a much safer way to consume it.
Despite these issues Alberta is the go too place for new Cannabis businesses, maybe even more so then British Columbia who has had a difficult time adjusting to the law changes. Specifically, in Vancouver and Vancouver Island where they had greater access to Cannabis before legalization. Alberta’s known for farming, and with the money farmers stand to make by producing Cannabis, many are very eager to get into the game. It wasn’t exactly the smoothest transition into legalization but things might start changing next year, we created a small poll to see how Calgarians feel about the current laws, feel free to give your input.