Saskatchewan

Sask. hiring cannabis inspectors, plans to introduce up to $100K fines for illegal dispensaries

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority is hiring officers that will inspect cannabis retailers.

The government is proposing hefty fines for individuals, business selling pot without permits

A budtender displays cannabis for sale at a dispensary. Saskatchewan is not projecting revenues or expenses associated with the sale of pot. (CBC)

Businesses caught selling cannabis without a permit once pot is legalized in Saskatchewan could face six-figure fines. 

The Cannabis Control Act, recently tabled, outlines the penalties for violating proposed provincial laws around cannabis. 

The federal government plans to legalize the sale and use of recreational cannabis by summer. Saskatchewan was the last province to unveil its framework, and has yet to set a minimum price for pot. 

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson confirmed that under proposed Saskatchewan law, an individual or dispensary selling cannabis without a permit will be subject to fines of up to a maximum of $25,000 for a person and a max of $100,000 for a business. 

The act states violators could also face imprisonment of up to six months. If the offending behaviour lasts more than one day it will treated as multiple incidents. 

On top of fines, individuals or businesses selling cannabis without a permit could face criminal charges, according to the spokesperson.

Hiring cannabis inspectors

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) plans to issue 60 permits to cannabis retailers in about 40 communities, including First Nations, across the province. 

The selection process to obtain a permit is underway and is expected to conclude in June. 

The SLGA is in the process of hiring three permanent and two temporary designated-cannabis enforcement officers to inspect cannabis retailers. 

A spokesperson says the cannabis inspectors will function similar to existing liquor inspectors.

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