Saskatchewan’s Justice Minister says the province would have been better off if recreational marijuana hadn’t been legalized and the Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority says it’s not the government’s fault that there is a shortage of supply and that most of the stores aren’t open.
Justice Minister Don Morgan says he understands the Prime Minister campaigned on the promise of legalization, but the provinces are the ones that are dealing with the marketing and the regulatory authority, making sure it’s kept away from schools and young people and working on road safety.
Minister Gene Makowsky says the shortage of supply is not an issue for Saskatchewan alone, and a lot of provinces are dealing with many retailers not being ready to open their doors yet.
There are 51 approved retail outlets in Saskatchewan and six were open today, none in Saskatoon or Regina.
Unlike the number of retail businesses, there is no cap on the amount of wholesalers to be allowed in Saskatchewan.
So far, one has a permit and 8 more are going through the permitting process.
There are 17 licensed producers who have a permit to supply Saskatchewan retailers.
The federal government’s goal with legalizing pot is to keep the profits out of the hands of criminals, keep marijuana out of the hands of youth, and protect public health and safety by allowing adults access to legal marijuana.
A reporter at the Saskatchewan Legislature Wednesday afternoon asked Minister Morgan about the fact that in Saskatchewan the legal price was higher than the illegal product.
He replied that the province doesn’t regulate the price on a retail level.
Along with the PST and GST, an excise tax is being charged at the producer level, of which 75 per cent will go to the province and the remainder to the federal government.