Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut October 04, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Nunavut set for online cannabis sales to begin Oct. 17

"These prices will be a lot lower than what we’re seeing"

SARAH ROGERS
Nunavut's Liquor and Cannabis Commission says it’s just days away from securing an agreement with a licensed producer that will supply the territory’s first commercial legal cannabis in time for Oct. 17. (FILE PHOTO)
Nunavut's Liquor and Cannabis Commission says it’s just days away from securing an agreement with a licensed producer that will supply the territory’s first commercial legal cannabis in time for Oct. 17. (FILE PHOTO)

The Government of Nunavut says it’s just days away from securing an agreement with a licensed producer that will supply the territory with legalized cannabis, starting Oct. 17.

The purchase and consumption of recreational marijuana will become legal that day across the country. Nunavut has set the legal age for cannabis consumption at 19.

In reality, Nunavummiut won’t have legal marijuana on hand that day, because of the time it will take for the product to arrive through Canada Post.

“There won’t be any internal sales by Oct. 17. Our first push is to get online sales up and running that day,” said Dan Young, the director of the Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

To that end, the commission has almost worked out a deal with a large-scale producer in southern Canada, which is expected to be finalized next week.

“We’re starting with one agent, but over the next several months we’re hoping to add a few more so people have a choice,” Young said.

Until the agreement with that provider is confirmed, the commission can’t say what price Nunavummiut will be paying for cannabis.

“But those prices will be a lot lower than what we’re seeing from the illegal market right now,” he said.

Nunavut’s legislators passed the territory’s Cannabis Act last June, which lays out the legal framework for how cannabis may be purchased and consumed.

That legislation does allow for private retailers to sell marijuana in Nunavut communities, but Young said the commission won’t consider that until 2019.

And even then, he said the commission won’t allow those retailers to open in communities that don’t want that option.

If a retailer applies for a permit to sell cannabis products, the commission would give notice to the municipality and individuals; the issue may even go to a plebiscite.

One of the bigger points of contention when MLAs debated sections of the new act was the federal legislation allowing home cultivation of a limited number of cannabis plants.

MLAs first sought to ban home cultivation, citing fears of normalizing marijuana use in overcrowded social housing units, as well as the potential for fires and mould infestations.

There isn’t currently any work being done on regulations related to the Cannabis Act, Young confirmed, which means by default, Nunavut will follow the federal four-plant maximum.

That may be a different story for renters in the private market and social housing tenants, where landlords have the ability to restrict home cultivation, though no such rules have been announced.

The GN will likely wait to gauge what issues arise as marijuana use becomes legal, before it looks to draft any regulations.

The GN’s Department of Health has launched its own health and safety campaign, which is being rolled out through the territory’s health centres.

And for its part, the Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission has a budget targeting socially responsible messaging, which, under the new legislation, has been increased from $500,000 to $750,000.

Young said the commission will be releasing its own campaign over the next week.

That includes its own website, which will be a resource for Nunavummiut looking for information about cannabis use in the territory.

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(7) Comments:

#1. Posted by I live in the Arctic on October 04, 2018

all marijuana is legal on that day right?

#2. Posted by Paul Murphy on October 04, 2018

“But those prices will be a lot lower than what we’re seeing from the illegal market right now,” he said.

Don Have you been buying locally to be aware of this alleged difference? LOL

#3. Posted by High, Guys! on October 05, 2018

What a wasted opportunity.  The way things are now, legalization could actually make the current problems WORSE- Since there are no places to buy in-town, people will still want to get what they can, when they can.  Most people will still go to dealers to get $20, $50 worth, not save $100-$200 and wait 2 weeks for the mail.  And even if they do, that will increase complaints of theft through the mail stream, aggression and violence as people “pitch in” to buy a bunch, and then accusations come up that “you ripped me off!”.  If every town had a well-run, secure dispensary, it would increase tax revenue, decrease violence, and eliminate so many complaints of mismanaged mail.

#4. Posted by iToke on October 06, 2018

I don’t think the opportunity is all lost, yet. Legalization definitely creates a market and room for potential private business, which is exactly how it should be handled. Government can still make it’s revenue off this. 

To date I get the feeling the GN has been stuck in a slow motion “deer in headlights” scenario. Is anyone surprised?

Let’s see if they ever get it together. I’ll be curious who gets the Nunavut monopoly. What a lame approach it is though. We should be able to order for any legally recognized distributor in Canada. Pathetic.

#5. Posted by Not Kids on October 08, 2018

For God’s sake, don’t let your kids at it.
Research now shows it does interfere with brain development, concentration and processing in a young person’s brain.
Hope the word gets out on this as it is pretty frightening.
Parents, take a firm stand with your children.
Make sure they know how dangerous to their developing brain weed is.
Or you will never know who your child would have turned out to be if their brain development had not been interfered with.

#6. Posted by wow on October 09, 2018

#1 not all marijuana will be legal. Only marijuana purchased from a registered retailer or grown in your own home will be legal (4 plants limit). Dealers selling from their homes or on the street is still breaking the law and can still be charged. The person buying from them can also be charged as the product was not purchased from an approved and registered seller as to my understand.  There is also a limit I believe that you can carry or have on you.

#7. Posted by Hopeful, ( Iqaluit ) on October 09, 2018

# 5,
A very good and positive letter, I compliment you as a caring person,and
hope people take your advice.
  Frankly I do not think it is the best thing for Canada to make it legal.
Kids will get hold of it somehow, I am sure some are doing so already.
We shall have to wait and see what happens.
  QUE SERA SERA, WHATEVER WILL BE, WILL BE.

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