The Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis in Alberta

If you’re planning a trip to Alberta, there are the classic must-sees: the scenic resort town of Banff, the turquoise waters of Lake Louise, Drumheller’s badlands rich in dinosaur fossils, and the largest shopping mall in North America, West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton.

While locals may avoid these spots, particularly during high season, newcomers would be remiss to skip.

Alberta culture drums up images of elk crossing highways, plentiful cowboy boots, high-quality AAA-grade beef, and abundant oil fields, but Canada’s second-most westerly province is greater than the sum of its stereotypes.

A 2019 report by BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research forecasts that the Canadian legal cannabis market will hit $5.2 billion in sales by 2024, and Alberta is expected to account for $2 billion, trailing behind Ontario, Canada’s most-populous province.

Unexpectedly, Alberta is leading the charge for licensed cannabis retail outlets. While British Columbia garnered an international reputation for amazing bud and grassroots activism, its 32 retail outlets pale in comparison with Alberta’s 116 shops.

Purchasing Cannabis in Alberta

Adult-use and medical cannabis are legal across Canada, as set out in the Cannabis Act which came into force Oct. 17, 2018. Regulations for medical cannabis have been in place since 2001.

Provincial governments are able to adapt parts of the regulations, such as setting the legal age to purchase with a mandatory minimum age of 18 and creating a retail model that can be government-run, privately run, or both.

In Alberta, the minimum age to purchase cannabis is 18, which mirrors its alcohol laws. Tourists and out-of-towners are also legally allowed to buy weed as long as they are of legal age. Keep in mind that while cannabis can be legally transported within Canada, it remains illegal to

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