In the absence, so far, of any legislation from the Wall government surrounding legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana use, one policy school has made its own suggestions.
The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy has released a report after conducting research.
The report contains a total of 40 recommendations that are being made, focusing on areas such as public education, policing, distribution and retailing, public health and market structure.
Jason Childs was one of the researchers who worked on the report.
“This market is going to be big. It has serious implications and we’ve got to get it right,” he said.
After looking at other jurisdictions that have already legalized, or ones that have recently announced legislation such as Quebec and Ontario, researchers at the school recommended things like having a private single distribution system, to initially keep taxes low to compete with the illicit market, making the legal age limit to buy and consume the same as alcohol, expanding SLGA’s mandate to include regulation and selling marijuana in a different location than stores that already sell liquor or tobacco.
While getting it right is the goal, Childs fully understands and admits it won’t be done right the first time.
hilds and his fellow team of researchers also know the legal market will have stiff competition against the illicit market. There’s also uncertainty about the product itself and whether supplies will quickly run out.
“Are people really going to want this? Are people going to shift from consuming alcohol to cannabis? We don’t know and so, we’re going to have to be adaptable as we go forward.”
The report was unveiled on the University of Regina campus Thursday morning, with researchers, police and those close to the industry, like Carla Murray, in attendance.
“Probably nobody’s going to get it right but we can’t make it worse than the medical. Hopefully it’ll be less flawed than the medical she said, referring to current law around medicinal marijuana,” Murray said.
Murray praised the report in certain respects.
“I love that they want the independent shops and that, and I understand the central distributor — that’s my only worry — but they’ll need to have everything tested and regulated,” she said.
The federal government has put a date on the legalization of marijuana for recreational use as of July 1, 2018, but has left it up to provinces on how it’s regulated.