Canada is nearing its rollout of recreational marijuana this summer and while there have been challenges in keeping up with the federal deadline, the British Columbia marijuana market is taking shape.
On Feb. 4, 2018, British Columbia’s provincial government announced that recreational marijuana will be sold at privately operated and government-run standalone retail stores, none of which can also sell liquor or pharmaceuticals, and the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, the branch of government that is responsible for the provincial alcohol industry, will oversee the implementation of an e-commerce model for online retail sales.
“We’re excited about planning and building online sales and a new retail network of standalone, public cannabis stores,” said Blain Lawson, LDB’s general manager and CEO, in a press release. “The public retail model will be phased in over time.”
An individual adult, 19-years-old or older, will be allowed to purchase up to 30 grams of recreational marijuana at a time, cultivate up to four plants per household and smoke or vape in public spaces where tobacco and vaping are permitted. Adults will not be allowed to smoke or vape in vehicles or places frequented by children, such as parks, playgrounds and beaches, among others.
“National legalization of non-medical cannabis represents an historic shift in public policy. This provincial regulatory framework provides a sound foundation to support the provincial goals that prioritize public health and safety,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in a press release.
For those interested in privately operating retail marijuana stores, the LDB’s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch will be in charge of licensing and will launch early licensing registration this spring.
British Columbia marijuana retail stores will be allowed to sell flower, oil and seeds, as well as accessories for consuming marijuana. The province is holding off on allowing retailers to offer edibles until the federal government issues regulations for them, which is expected to happen within 12 months of legalization commencing.