Alberta’s cannabis retailers learned last Friday that as of Monday, February 10, they would now be allowed to sell cannabis vape-pens, cartridges, and other vape products.
The Albertan cannabis industry and some consumers cried foul when Alberta’s UCP government announced in late December they were delaying the release of vape pens while the province conducted a review of its Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act.
An Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis representative told Marijuana Business Daily, “With the legalization of additional cannabis products this fall, we are paying close attention to the Tobacco Act review; in particular, to any findings around vaping to ensure regulations are balanced and protect the health and safety of Albertans.” However, the province made the decision to delay the release of vape products after the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention had already largely concluded that the rash of vape-related poisonings in that country was connected to the use of unregulated additives in counterfeit vape-pens sold on the illicit market.
An Alberta Treasury Board and Finance representative said their agency “took the time to review currently available evidence and data and came to the conclusion to allow the sale of cannabis vapes.” A statement from Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis noted the decision was based on “available evidence, data and other provinces’ decisions on cannabis vaping.”
“We expect retailers will be able to begin ordering products as early as this coming week and there may be limited product from the onset,” the statement continued. “Like all other products before vapes, inventory will increase in time.”
With slightly less than half the population of Quebec, Alberta is Canada’s fourth most populous province, just after British Columbia. In 2016, Alberta had the country’s second-fastest growing population and since legalization, the province has to date opened 417 retail cannabis stores—significantly more cannabis retailers than any other province, particularly when considered per capita.
At the moment, there is one cannabis retailer for every 10,483 Albertans at the same time as Ontario, with Canada’s largest provincial population and only 31 stores, offers one cannabis store per 467,426 residents.