Why will Canada prevent selling marijuana "in the same location as alcohol or tobacco"?


According to CNN, Canada has approved a law to legalize marijuana, but will require sellers a licence and will forbid sales to minors.

One point of the article is that

Marijuana will also not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.

Now, this seems odd to me, specially in relation to tobacco. Since sales of alcohol and tobacco to minors are already forbidden, one would say that it would be easier to control if all "adults only" products were in the same place:

  • Less places to check/control.

  • Presence of minors at these locations would make spotting illegal sellers easier than if, for example, marijuana was sold through drugstores.

To be clear, I am not asking why the law does not allow all tobacco stores to sell marijuana, I am asking why no tobacco stores at all can get the required licence.

There has been any explanation (in the law or during its discussion) for this restriction?


Posted 2018-06-20T10:25:09.223

Reputation: 24 682

1Not sure about tobacco, but alcohol may to prevent mixing. no source, so leaving as coment – None – 2018-06-20T12:05:21.107

15'cause you don't want to sell marijuana near any of that dangerous stuff! – Erik – 2018-06-20T14:27:23.457

Because the government is scared of its own legalization move and is now trying to subvert it as much as possible. – JonathanReez – 2018-06-22T19:05:32.153



Canada's federal government's task force on cannabis legalization recommended against selling alcohol and marijuana in the same locations, citing concerns "about product promotion and exposing a larger population to cannabis products should sales be co-located, as well as the impact on cannabis consumers who are trying to avoid alcohol."

From the task force's report:



One of the central issues to consider in the design of a legal and regulatory framework for legal access to marijuana is to identify those system features that will best reduce the risks of health and social harms associated with use.

When considering how best to minimize harms associated with marijuana use, it is helpful to consider the two different approaches taken in controlling tobacco and alcohol use.

In the case of tobacco, the overall objective is to reduce or even eliminate use for all Canadians.

In contrast, the overall objective with respect to alcohol is to promote responsible use amongst adults, and to prohibit use amongst youth. These objectives are achieved largely through actions such as setting a minimum age for purchase, educational tools aimed at promoting responsible use, and taxation measures.

Given that the majority of harms related to marijuana use appear to occur in select high-risk users (e.g., youth) or in conjunction with high-risk use practices (e.g., frequent use; highly potent products; impaired driving), an approach that draws lessons from both tobacco and alcohol control should be examined. Both approaches rely on a comprehensive suite of actions aimed at those users at highest risk for harms through active prevention, education and treatment, as well as policy and legislative interventions.

Another relevant excerpt:



For example, in recognition of the more serious impairment that results when alcohol and marijuana use are combined, both Washington and Colorado do not allow marijuana to be sold in stores that also sell alcohol.

In short, they want to discourage (or eliminate) tobacco usage, and hence don't want tobacco and marijuana sold in the same location, and they don't want alcohol and marijuana sold in the same location to discourage high-risk behaviors when combining them.

You can read the full report here: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/healthy-canadians/migration/health-system-systeme-sante/consultations/legalization-marijuana-legalisation/alt/legalization-marijuana-legalisation-eng.pdf

C. Helling

Posted 2018-06-20T10:25:09.223

Reputation: 1 272

In short, they want to discourage (or eliminate) tobacco usage But I thought that the whole point of legalizing marijuana was to discourage its usage in a more efficient way. Or were that all lies ? – Bregalad – 2018-06-23T10:15:49.603

@Bregalad The point being that selling them in the same place widens the potential customer base for both. – C. Helling – 2018-06-24T04:14:47.973