Saskatchewan

Prepping for pot involves 'twice as much paperwork' for Sask.-Alberta border city

"I have the opportunity to be on the conduit between two provinces that sometimes doesn’t exist, I’m finding," says the mayor of Lloydminster.

Lloydminster falls under the jurisdiction of both provincial governments, 2 sets of rules for sale of pot

Lloydminster's mayor says like many Canadian mayors, his city has been waiting on more details around pot legalization from provincial and federal governments. (CBC Radio-Canada)

Municipalities across Saskatchewan, like those in the rest of Canada, are preparing for the impacts of cannabis legalization.

But in one place, that involves "twice as much paperwork."

"This is our life every day," said Gerald Aalbers, the mayor of the city of Lloydminster, which straddles the Saskatchewan-Alberta border. 

The border city falls under the jurisdiction of both provincial governments, which means it will also fall under two sets of rules for the sale and distribution of pot. 

"We live this no matter if this was cannabis, alcohol, infrastructure funding — doesn't matter what item it is, we live this every day," said Aalbers.

"It doesn't matter if it's a federal or provincial government program that matches up individually to each province … it means we do twice as much paperwork."

That means RCMP in Lloydminster will have to enforce two different sets of rules, as is already the case for alcohol, tobacco and traffic enforcement — issues the force deals with regularly, Aalbers said.

He said like any municipality, Lloydminster is in control of its own zoning and bylaws. 

'Conduit between 2 provinces'

And like any city or town, it's waiting on more details on regulations around legal cannabis — but from two provinces. 

From the Alberta government, Aalbers said the city is waiting to hear about buffer zones and hours of operations, which are supposed to standardized across the province.

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan has yet to set a minimum age pot consumption. 

Aalbers acknowledged that on this issue, he's had a unique perspective when he meets with mayors from both provinces.

"I have the opportunity to be on the conduit between two provinces that sometimes doesn't exist, I'm finding."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie Taylor

Reporter, CBC Saskatchewan

Stephanie Taylor is a reporter based in Saskatchewan. Before joining CBC News in Regina, she covered municipal politics in her hometown of Winnipeg and in Halifax. Reach her at stephanie.taylor@cbc.ca

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