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Calgary councillors fired up for marijuana learning session

A speaker from Denver prepped council on the world of legalization ahead

Calgary councillors were fascinated to hear the lessons learned on marijuana legalization from Denver.

Metro File Photo

Calgary councillors were fascinated to hear the lessons learned on marijuana legalization from Denver.

Your Ward reps are deep in the weeds, getting high on pot policy as to not be caught “flat footed” ahead of federal regulations.

On Monday, the special strategic council meeting played host to Dan Rowland, a communications pro from Denver, to talk pot policy and politics with the municipal leaders.

Rowland told council to expect the unexpected with the legalization process.

“Hash oil explosions,” said Rowland. “We know that people have experimented with the product before, grown it at home before legalization, but all of the sudden you’re seeing maybe some amateur actors setting up shop.”

He said from a regulatory standpoint, making edibles had other risks including fire protection implications with risky oil extraction.

“The key here is for us to be prepared,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

As next steps, the city is looking to prep internally for regulatory frameworks and externally with a communications plan for citizens as the feds move closer and closer to lighting up the law.

“We don’t want to do too much work if the feds are going to go a different way,” said Nenshi. “There’s some things we know we’re going to have to get in place.”

He noted over the next few months, council will hear options about the distance between weed dispensaries and other land use concerns.

When it comes to creating a new city department, and hiring more staff to deal with the intricacies of legalization, Nenshi is not keen to dish out dough .

“The real issue is getting the regulation right,” he said.

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