Everything you need to know about pot in Edmonton

After 18 months of legislation, discussion and build-up, today's the day cannabis becomes legal in Canada.

With so much news coverage, it can be easy to get a little overwhelmed. Here's what Edmontonians need to know.

How to buy it

Albertans looking to buy recreational cannabis legally have two options: Online through the AGLC at  albertacannabis.org or from a licensed retail cannabis store.

Online sales for pot products opens at 12:01 a.m Wednesday. Retail stores will generally open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., the same as liquor stores.

Seventeen Alberta retailers have been given interim licences to sell cannabis products; six are in the Edmonton area. The AGLC expects up to 250 retail stores will open within the next year.

What you can buy

You can legally purchase dried bud, milled cannabis, plant seeds, cannabis oil, capsules and pre-rolled joints. AGLC's wholesale catalogue has over 300 cannabis products available. 

Every adult Albertan will be allowed to buy or carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis (or the equivalent in other forms) at a time and each household will be able to grow up to four plants. 

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Where you can (and can't) use it

Generally, you can smoke cannabis wherever tobacco smoking is allowed. That means you can light up in most private property and in private residences. Keep in mind, though, some realtors have warned that home cultivation could hurt your property value.

There are also a couple of exceptions:

  • You won't be allowed to use cannabis in a car, but you can in a parked RV. 

You will be allowed to smoke pot in national parks and on hiking trails in Alberta, though.


Where not to smoke

Edmontonians will need to step at least 10 metres away from bus stops, doorways, windows or patios — which means there won't be many places for people to smoke in areas like Whyte Avenue. The fine for smoking too close to a doorway will be $250.

The City of Edmonton is putting up new signs and ashtrays in areas where smoking is allowed.

You can't smoke cannabis on hospital, school or child care facility properties. Nor can you smoke it within five metres from a playground, sports field, skateboard park, zoo, outdoor theatre, or outdoor pool or spray park.

Cannabis and driving

Alberta introduced new impaired driving laws in 2018, giving officers more roadside powers to administer tickets and issue suspensions. There is a zero tolerance for cannabis policy for drivers with a learner or probationary licence. 

Alberta RCMP say they are on track to having one third of its members trained to carry out field sobriety tests by 2020.


Still have more questions?