Alberta unveils bill to phase out online cannabis sales, leave it to retailers

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Alberta wants to get out of the online cannabis business and sell it to licensed retailers over the internet instead.

Cannabis retailers should also be allowed to sell some branded clothing and other accessories.

The province says online cannabis only accounts for about $ 200,000 per year in annual sales.

Treasury Secretary Travis Toews said Thursday the change would also help raise the profile of legitimate cannabis dealers and drive out black market sellers.

“We would expect that a more robust online presence in the legal trade would have real potential to displace some of the illegal trade that is taking place now,” Toews said.

He said that some cannabis retailers have asked to sell cannabis-related clothing and other accessories to increase their bottom line.

The government is working on the details, but Toews said he anticipates the rules will be similar to those for liquor sellers.

The changes are part of an omnibus law tabled in the House on Thursday by Tanya Fir, Deputy Minister for Bureaucracy Reduction.

The bill also requires municipalities to establish bylaws to establish amusement areas that create designated public areas where adults can drink alcohol.

The aim is to provide more opportunities to support local businesses and boost tourism.

“It would also allow food trucks and kiosks to serve alcohol within the limits set,” Toews said.

Beer, wine, and cider made at home or in licensed premises may be served on private special occasions such as weddings.

Government approval would no longer be required for the use of sacramental wines in religious services.

The proposed law also aims to streamline the handling of complaints filed with the Alberta Human Rights Commission to allow for faster resolution of disputes.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 4, 2021.