Albertans Support Liquor Retailers Selling Recreational Marijuana

Poll found 52% of Albertans in Support

Albertans are becoming increasingly open to having recreational marijuana products sold at liquor stores, according to a poll commissioned by the Alberta Liquor Store Association (ALSA). The poll, conducted in February, found that 52% of Albertans believe the government should consider allowing liquor retailers to sell recreational marijuana, provided the products are accessed through a separate entrance. That’s up substantially from 41% a year earlier.

Critically, the same poll found that 96% of Albertans believe it’s important (78% believe it’s very important) for recreational marijuana vendors to have training and experience in selling controlled substances like alcohol.

“We agree that marijuana should not be sold next to bottles of liquor, which is why the Alberta Liquor Store Association has proposed separate entrances, ‘tobacco-styled’ stores,” says ALSA President Ivonne Martinez. “These stores would leverage all the best practices of the existing liquor retailing system. Our members have a long and successful track record of selling controlled substances to adults only. We would bring the same professionalism and sense of duty to retailing marijuana as we’ve demonstrated with alcohol for the last 25 years.”

The poll also found that a minority of Albertans (41%) believe having their local liquor store sell legalized marijuana would have a negative impact on their community, down from 52% the year before.

“These numbers show a trend toward greater public support for liquor stores being involved in retailing legalized marijuana products,” Martinez says. “Our members are not only business owners, they’re members of the communities they serve. They have as much invested in the safety and security of their neighbourhoods as anybody.”

ALSA believes the current Alberta liquor retailing model, which provides for public distribution oversight and government-regulated private retail stores, is the best option to meet the main policy objectives of the Alberta government while meeting the tight deadlines from the federal government.