Province Sets Next Policy Directions for Cannabis Legalization

Province Sets Next Policy Directions for Cannabis Legalization

CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island, Jan. 16, 2018 /Weed Wire/ — As Prince Edward Island works to meet the federal government’s timeline for cannabis legalization this summer, the province continues to set policy direction to meet the needs and expectations of Islanders.

The province today (January 16) announced next steps in the areas of possession, drug-impaired driving, transporting, harm reduction and education, and details on our retail model and suppliers. Government continues to consult with partners including municipalities, law enforcement, the medical community, education, justice system, and the agricultural community.

“In setting direction on cannabis, our focus remains on getting rid of the illegal market, ensuring Islanders are making an informed choice, and protecting the public health and safety of Islanders,” Finance Minister Heath MacDonald said. “This is a major project that involves or impacts almost every department of government, and we continue to work with our key partners and Islanders to ensure that the decisions we make are in the best interests of the entire province.”

This latest set of policy directions includes:

Adult possession – adults will be allowed to publicly possess 30 grams of lawful dried cannabis or the equivalent, which aligns with the federal legislation.
Youth possession – youth under 19 will be prohibited from possessing cannabis. The province’s approach to protecting youth will focus on prevention, diversion, and harm reduction, without unnecessarily bringing them into contact with the justice system.
Drug-impaired driving – the province will strengthen roadside suspension and create a summary offense in cases of impaired driving with a minor, with potential for increasing penalties in the future.
Transporting – when transporting cannabis, it must remain in unopened packaging and, where an open package is being transported the product will be required to be secure and inaccessible to anyone in the vehicle.
Education – public health and safety campaigns for cannabis are already underway and will intensify as legalization approaches. In addition, the province will support youth, young adults and all Islanders by developing educational and harm-reduction strategies. The approach will include education, health, and social service providers that work with – and educate – Islanders.
Retail model – Prince Edward Island will have four dedicated government-owned retail locations for cannabis sales in 2018, as well as an e-commerce platform with direct-to-home delivery. The retail sites will be in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague, and West Prince.
Suppliers – the province is entering into agreements with three companies to supply legal and regulated product:
Canada’s Island Garden of Charlottetown;
OrganiGram of Moncton, N.B.; and
Canopy Growth Corporation of Smith Falls, Ont.

These policy directions are significant steps in the cannabis legalization framework for Prince Edward Island. There are additional decisions to come related to personal cultivation, ticketing offences, and other topics which require legislative or regulatory direction.

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Media contact:
Katie MacDonald sends e-mail)

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