Justice minister nixes private pot sales proposal

Photo courtesy of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories - Facebook page

Several regular MLAs have expressed disappointment that the territorial government appears unwilling to entertain the idea of the private sale of cannabis once it becomes legal across Canada this summer.

It will be sold in government controlled liquor stores in the six communities that have liquor stores and otherwise through mail order.

Hay River MLA R.J. Simpson says the government is going against the wishes of the majority of NWT residents who have made their opinions known.

MLAs visited 16 communities and six schools across the territory earlier this year to get public input of Bill 6 – the government’s cannabis regulation bill.

In a committee meeting Monday, Justice Minister Lou Sebert said that if private enterprise is allowed to sell legal pot we could see marijuana stores opening on every street corner like Starbucks.

Simpson pointed out that there are no Starbucks outlets in the NWT and furthermore that Cannabis is already being sold on may street corners – illegally.

Simpson and several other MLAs are urging the government not to sell cannabis in liquor stores.

They say it goes against a federal task force that recommended against selling pot and booze undcr one roof.

MLAs would like to see a separate entrance for cannabis sales and a wall dividing alcohol and marijuana sales.

Sebert shot down that proposal as well saying it would cause economic hardships on the liquor store owners.

The majority of provinces have chosen not to sell legal cannabis in liquor or beer stores.

On Tuesday at the assembly, MLAs stood and took turns reading from their report entitled Report on the Review of Bill 6: Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Implementation Act.

How that report will affect the final bill or if it will may be known later this week.

The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent by Friday when the house will start its summer break.

It is the last scheduled sitting before cannabis becomes legal across the land.



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