Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says the province should be ready for legal marijuana months ahead of Oct. 17, the date announced this week for when the federal law legalizing cannabis will come into force.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the fall deadline on Wednesday after the Senate voted Tuesday to approve Bill C-45. The plan is to give provincial jurisdictions more time to prepare for legalization.
Joining the CJME Morning Show on Thursday, Moe noted the premiers met with the federal government a year ago and had initially asked for a longer extension to get ready for the impending legalization of cannabis.
“So this, three, three and a half months will be helpful for us to continue to work with our municipalities, our law enforcement, and to ensure that the regulations that we need to have in place provincially are in place and everyone is familiar with them,” Moe explained.
Moe said the Saskatchewan government was already working toward the previously expected federal deadline of July 1. He said more time is always helpful so the province can make sure to get it right.
“We have work to do around impaired driving and how we’re going to manage that and we’ve put forward a zero-tolerance,” Moe said.
The premier also pointed to challenges around managing workplace safety such as in cases where people have to operate heavy equipment. He said there are ongoing discussions on how to address potential issues.
Moe said the province has been in touch with people in U.S. states where marijuana was recently legalized to get ideas about what has worked in those jurisdictions.
Marijuana will be subject to a federal tax, and Moe said there hasn’t been a decision yet about a provincial tax.