Saskatchewan releases rules for marijuana use

The Saskatchewan government has laid down ground rules for how marijuana can be used after legalization this fall.

Eight offences were listed in a government release issued on July 4, each issuing fines and penalties for improper marijuana usage. In some cases, the laws are similar to provincial decrees already in place for alcohol.

The largest fine, a $2,250 ticket, will be issued if an employee with a retail marijuana location either does not demand proof of age for a customer who appears underage or sells marijuana to a minor.

Another $1,000 ticket will be issued to anyone caught consuming marijuana at a school or childcare location. Any person caught selling or giving marijuana to a persun under the minimum age of 19 will face a $750 fine.


Where you'll be able to legally smoke marijuana in Saskatchewan in October

As the countdown to cannabis legalization creeps closer and closer, so too do the questions about where you be will be able to consume it.

Less than a week ago, the provincial government announced the type of fines a person would face for the improper use of recreational marijuana — a range of anywhere from $200 to $2,250 for violations once weed is legalized in October.


Sask. government establishes cannabis fines, including $200 ticket for smoking in public

The Saskatchewan government on Wednesday unveiled its fine structure around the sale and use of recreational marijuana, which will soon be legal. 

"These new regulations that apply to cannabis are similar to current rules regarding alcohol," the government said in a news release.

The fines will range from $200 to $2,250.

The fines include:


Unlucky cannabis applicants critical of Sask. government's lottery process

Pat Warnecke didn’t hold out much hope he would be selected in the Saskatchewan government’s cannabis retail licence process.

“Nowhere in the RFP (request for proposals) did I ever see that if you had anything to do with the cannabis industry before, or if you had anything to do with a dispensary, that you’re not eligible for the system or not eligible to apply,” said Warnecke, owner of Best Buds Society, which operated cannabis dispensaries in Regina and Saskatoon.

“It doesn’t look like anybody who was part of any dispensary got into any of these here.”

Warnecke believes the government has done the province a disservice by driving away cannabis industry leaders.


Get to know your local (legal) pot sellers: Weyburn, Sask., edition

"Now what?"

That's what Torrance Aitken remembers thinking when he found out he'd won one of Saskatchewan's 51 coveted retail cannabis permits.

Four weeks later, there are still some things about the new legal pot industry that Aitken, a 34-year-old oil and gas well tester in Weyburn, Sask., can only guess at.

"I really don't have any idea how it will go," he said Wednesday. 

But Aitken didn't want to miss out on what he saw as a unique business opportunity.

The Saskatchewan government was only allowing two pot shops to operate in Weyburn, population 10,870.

Torrance Aitken, a Weyburn-area oil and gas well tester who won one of Weyburn's two pot permits, says he'll operate both businesses simultaneously. (Torrance Aitken)


Smoking bylaw pushed back

Any enthusiasm to pass amendments to the current smoking bylaw to include approaches on how to deal with recreational cannabis appears to have gone up in smoke.

At least, for the time being.

Coun. Deanna Lennox put forward a motion during the June 12 regular city council meeting to put off any decision making on the current smoking bylaw until August. The Fort, like many municipalities, has been working to figure out how to tackle marijuana once it becomes legalized in Canada.


Saskatoon marijuana licences could cost potential retailers $20K

$20K licensing fee and a $10K annual licence renewal fee proposed.

A proposed bylaw for the sale of marijuana in Saskatoon could see future retailers pay $20,000 for a licence and another $10,000 per year to renew that licence.

The city's Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services also recommends that any pot shop in the city have an air filtration system installed so that the smell of weed doesn't disturb nearby businesses. 

The report said the cash from the licences "can be used to mitigate the costs of regulation," but added that the fee structure could be reworked as marijuana becomes more established in the city.


Two cannabis retail store permits selected for Weyburn by SLGA

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Association selected the operators for the province’s 51 cannabis retail store permits.  More than two-thirds of these successful applicants are from Saskatchewan or have operations in the province.

Receiving the Weyburn permits will be Torrance Aitken of Weyburn and Compass Cannabis Clinic, which operates in B.C. and Alberta.


Future Sask. pot sellers assessing how online sales will figure into business model

Province wants online sales kept inside Sask. borders.

Andrew MacCorquodale says Canopy Growth Corporation is going to sell recreational marijuana online when it becomes legal, but how much of the company's business will come through the internet is a wild card.

Canopy emerged as one of the big winners in the lottery to see which applicants get to sell pot legally in Saskatchewan. The company won five of the 51 permits — the largest single allotment in the province.

Canopy already supplies medical marijuana to patients with legal prescriptions. MacCorquodale said it will draw on that model when setting up the recreational side.

MacCorquodale said it's going to be interesting to see how the online side of the business evolves.


Cannabis permit holder plans for expansion, more staff

Now that 51 operators for Saskatchewan’s cannabis retail stores are selected, the real work begins according to the president of one of the two successful applicants for the permits in North Battleford.

James Davey of Curativa Cannabis, a division of Envirosafe Chemicals Canada said his company was honoured to be part of the historical marijuana movement in Canada, especially with the amount of competition there was for the permits.

“When you think that there was a four per cent chance of being selected for one of the retail permits, it really is quite remarkable,” Davey told battlefordsNOW. “We are certainly proud to bring the cannabis retail business and opportunity to North Battleford.”


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