The Saskatchewan government has put forward its new regime for cannabis legalization in the province.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Moe government announced its framework and outlined the plan for the regulation, distribution, sale and use of pot in the province.

“The top priority of the Government of Saskatchewan when creating this framework is to ensure the health and safety of our residents,” said Justice Minister Don Morgan. “We have taken the time necessary to review the many impacts cannabis legalization will have on our province and are confident our approach addresses the many facets of legalization.”

The framework puts forward several key details, including the minimum age for cannabis consumption and possession as 19 years of age, there will also be zero tolerance for drug-impaired drivers and consuming pot in public spaces will be prohibited. The province is also adopting the federal limit of four plants per household.

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority selection process for retail permits is also underway, with 51 permits available in 32 communities.

Three First Nations in the province were selected earlier this year as potential private retail spots, much to the surprise of the local leadership. The three First Nations chosen were Onion Lake Cree Nation, the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation.  Onion Lake Chief Wallace Fox went on record saying his reserve would most likely opt out. PBCN and LLRIB are still undecided.

The SLGA is supposed to get official word from these three bands later this month.

The Northern Village of La Loche and the Town of La Ronge were also on the approved list for a cannabis retail store, according to the government. Meadow Lake, Prince Albert and Nipawin are also slated as potential locations.

In order for these communities to receive a private retail store any business applicant will need to jump a few hurdles.  Firstly, the business must pass a screening for financial capacity. Secondly, if the business does qualify, they will be entered into a random draw for the retail spot.

The private businesses chosen will then have 45 days to begin the actual permitting process and will have one year from the date of legalization to open their doors for business.

The province says they will decide if more permits should be given out in the future.

(PHOTO: Infographic on marijuana sales. Photo courtesy of the Government of Saskatchewan.)