Alberta pot barons join forces to form advocacy, lobbying group

Some high rollers in Alberta’s nascent legal cannabis industry have joined forces to advocate, lobby and work to curb the drug’s lingering illicit market.

Last week, the Alberta Cannabis Council became a registered lobbyist with the province, aiming to promote the six-month-old industry, educate and protect consumers, and advocate on behalf of its members, which includes retailers, cultivators and processors among others.

Michelle Russell, executive director of the council, said since recreational cannabis became legal in Canada last October the industry has experienced significant hurdles alongside rapid growth, nowhere more than in Alberta, which she said has led the country in building the new sector.

“We are at the very beginning of this sector, and the sector needs a strong voice to guide it,” she said. “We want our members to help shape the dialogue.”

Russell said the non-profit group is in the process of signing up members, but its five-member executive includes several

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