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Calgary councillor frustrated by gaps between legalization, edibles and pot lounges

(660NEWS file photo)

Don’t expect to see any pot lounges or cafes in Alberta, until the federal government has a handle on edible cannabis products.

Pot will be legal in Canada October 17, but it could take until at least July 2019 for Albertans to have a public place to consume it.

That’s the soft target Health Canada has set to regulate edibles, and the deadline the province has said it’s waiting for.

In Calgary, it will be illegal to smoke the drug anywhere but in your home, and you may not even be able to do it there, if you live in a rental property.

The idea of outdoor public cannabis consumption sites was also scrapped last week, after only one city councillor offered up potential sites.

Ward 3 Councillor Jyoti Gondek said she gets why the province is keeping cautious, but this all speaks to a lack of communication by Ottawa and with other levels of government.

“Why do we have this lag time between what you smoke and the edibles that are coming out? Why did nobody think that having some sort of public consumption area — although I hate to use that term — wouldn’t be important to someone who’s going to consume a legal product?,” she said.

“There’s really not a lot of consultation with people like us, who have to deal with residents who are in very real situations of not being able to consume a legal product publicly.”

Gondek said she’s also interested to see when the province is coming forward with their revenue sharing model with municipalities.

“The federal government and provincial government struck a deal many months ago and we are now coming upon October 17, within the next three weeks and the cities and municipalities still don’t know what our share of that is going to be,” she said.