The federal government’s highly anticipated pot plans are expected to be announced Thursday.
The legislation is expected to address age requirements for marijuana buyers, as well as who will be allowed to grow it and how much.
The bill is also expected to set out the powers Ottawa will afford the provinces to deal with the drug.
It is that final point that has Saskatchewan’s justice minister concerned.
“There are a number of issues that we have to answer, there’s a number of questions: how is it going to be dispensed? Who’s going to be responsible for that? What are the taxation rules going to be?” Gord Wyant said Wednesday at the provincial legislature.
“We don’t know what the taxing regime is going to look like, we don’t know what the legislation looks like yet, we don’t know what the financial impact will be from the federal government perspective.”
Wyant has heard from the Saskatchewan Construction Association (SCA). That group is concerned about how marijuana users will be tested. Given the on-the-job rules and workplace safety regulations governing the SCA, workers are already tested for alcohol but there is no similar mechanism for pot.
Wyant echoed those same public safety concerns.
“We have breathalyser machines that do that when it comes to alcohol. We don’t have the same type of equipment for marijuana, so there is going to have to extensive training for all police officers.”
Saskatchewan has set up a task force to look into some of these issues in preparation for the change in laws.