Nunavut behind in preparing cannabis legalization

Published: February 22, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Canada will legalize personal marijuana use across the country this July, but Nunavut’s new government has confessed that it is behind in its preparation. Only now is the province opening its discussion on how it will handle the impact of cannabis on law.

“We do feel behind in our preparation,” said Dan Carlson, Nunavut’s deputy minister of finance.

Nunavut consensus style government has been in flux in recent months as a new ruling party was elected last fall. Only when members met could marijuana legalization be put up for debate, starting this past Monday. It is a situation that Carlson describes as “bad timing”.

Like other provinces, Nunavut wants to create regulations for consumption and distribution of cannabis, but promises the results will be different to other provinces in Canada. For example, Carlson says cannabis stores will not be part of legislation.

“We are only proposing to offer online sales. We think that’s the smart move for Nunavut.”

Other considerations include the possibility of collaborating with private companies to sell marijuana for the government.

“The government would retain control and we would essentially contract out one or more organizations to deliver certain aspects of our operations,” Carlson said.

“We’re deciding product. We’re deciding price. We’re just working with the private sector.”

While the government wrestles with the situations, people of Nunavut have showed they welcome cannabis legalization. A poll from last year found over 75% of respondents favored the recreational cannabis.