Alberta has declared a state of emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but residents will still have access to stores selling alcohol and cannabis.
Although provinces such as Prince Edward Island announced this week that liquor and cannabis stores would be shut down for the duration of the outbreak, along with all services deemed non-essential, Alberta is unlikely to follow suit. And it appears as though the province can’t force them to shut down, at least not yet.
“In Alberta, retail liquor and cannabis stores are independently owned and operated. It is at the discretion of licensees/owners to make decisions that best serve their businesses,” Heather Holmen, manager of communications for Alberta, Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC), told Global News.
Regardless, Holmen recommended that Albertans looking to score some bud or some booze call ahead to their licensed retailer of choice before visiting to ensure the store is open and operating under regular hours.
In light of the global pandemic, Premier Jason Kenney has declared a state of emergency across the province in a bid to slow the spread of the highly contagious illness.
Businesses such as theatres, recreation centres, pools, museums, art galleries, sports arenas, casinos, community centres, gyms and movie theatres have been shut down. Gatherings of more than 50 people — including weddings, funerals, religious services and memorials — have been banned for the time being. Restaurants and cafés have not yet been forced to shut their doors, although some have opted to move to take-out only until the health crisis subsides.
Albertans looking for legal cannabis need not risk breaking social distancing measures to visit their local dispensary, though, as they can buy their weed products online to minimize contact with other people.
That said, in light of Canada Post’s announcement that shipments requiring signatures (all those containing cannabis) would be diverted to the nearest post office, cannabis customers may have to make a trek outdoors anyway to ensure their stashes remain well-stocked.
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Written by Emma Spears