The Alberta Liberals are calling on the NDP government to end the moratorium and renew issuing of cannabis licenses in the province.
Alberta Liberal Leader, David Khan says, in his opinion, the flawed cannabis policy is failing Albertans and wants to see an end to, what he calls "the distribution monopoly," by the AGLC.
"We'd like to see more flexibility in sourcing of supplies so that we can address the supply issue, and lift the moratorium on retail licenses. We want to see this government re-evaluate its plan for the monopoly distribution of cannabis through the AGLC, and examine other ways of addressing the supply shortage," he said.
He adds the moratorium is stifling job creation for Albertans and undermining efforts to end the criminal black market, in direct contradiction to one of the policy goals of legalization.
Khan says the Liberals believe the real reason behind the moratorium is due to government mismanagement and bureaucratic red tape.
"They could have been more flexible in how they're setting up the AGLC. We're proposing a solution that would ease the restrictions on stores seeking that supply, and allow them to purchase directly from federally licensed producers or distributors, other than the AGLC. That should allow for this moratorium to be lifted," he said.
According to a press release, the Alberta Liberals claim the NDP government wants the AGLC to be the sole distributor of cannabis for quality control purposes, and this process has contributed to the shortage that is fueling the black market.
The Liberals' proposal would also include allowing retailers to purchase supply from boutique producers or distributors that are currently frozen out of the market.
Of the six proposed stores for Okotoks, only one is currently in operation as an accessory store. Of the 250 stores that were supposed to open in the province, only 65 are currently open.
Khan says the Liberals are also working hard to recruit candidates for all the 87 constituencies across the province. There is no current Liberal representation in the Highwood riding.