Alberta bans minors under 18 from entering legal cannabis stores

Alberta has decided to ban minors, those under the age of 18, from entering the province’s future legal cannabis stores with or without adults.

“There’ll be no minors with or without adults [entering Alberta’s cannabis stores], the province has been firm on that,” Heather Holmen, a spokesperson of the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC), recently told the Calgary Herald in an interview.

While marijuana’s age restriction is similar to that of alcohol, minors are allowed to enter liquor stores in Alberta if they are accompanied with adults.

Holmen said Alberta’s strict policy is to “keep marijuana out of the hands of youths.”

“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.”

Online purchasing

When legal, consumers in Alberta will be able to buy marijuana from the ALGC online for home delivery, as well as from private retailers that receive the appropriate licenses from the province.

Holmen said even with online purchasing there will be restrictions to make sure minors have no access to marijuana.

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

At the point of sale, customers must show a government-issued identification.

“You can renew your registration online or as you would at any registry office,” she said, adding that truck-delivered purchases are also forbidden to be left on doorsteps.

Local law enforcement in charge

On top of that, local law enforcement in Alberta, not even the AGLC, is tasked to make sure that no youths are entering cannabis shops after Canada legalizes the recreational use of marijuana on Oct. 17.

Alberta is also imposing fines to keep its regime completely strict. Selling marijuana to anyone under the age of 18 could land the offenders up to  $2,000 in fines.

Minors will also be fined $300 if they’re caught purchasing, selling, possessing or consuming marijuana.

The Alberta government entity tasked with regulating cannabis so far has signed supply deals with 13 licensed producers, including Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth Corp., as it gears up for legal recreational pot in October.