Victoria – After reviewing the input from 48,951 British Columbians, and submissions from 141 local and Indigenous governments and a range of other interested stakeholders, the Province has announced a number of key decisions related to the anticipated legalization of non-medical cannabis in July 2018.
(NOTE – That while the Federal government still has their target of July 1,2018 to legalize pot, so far, only 18 or so bills have been changed in BC alone to accommodate the upcoming rules. However, the entire process is still a wobbly house of cards, and any legal snafu could grind the process to a halt. Another concern is how Liquor stores will handle pot. Private dispensers want to know if BCLB will merge both alcohol and pot stores together or will there be separate stores.)
The following policy decisions were shaped by the feedback provided by those who participated in the engagement:
- Minimum age
British Columbia will set the minimum age to possess, purchase and consume cannabis at 19 years old. A minimum age of 19 is consistent with B.C.’s minimum age for alcohol and tobacco and with the age of majority in B.C.
- Wholesale distribution of cannabis
Like other provinces, B.C. will have a government-run wholesale distribution model. The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be the wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis in B.C.
- Retail of cannabis
The Province anticipates establishing a retail model that includes both public and private retail opportunities and will share details regarding the model in early 2018.
From September 25 to November 1, 2017, you were asked to share your thoughtst and expertise on a range of issues related to the regulation of non-medical cannabis in B.C., including minimum age, personal possession, public consumption, drug-impaired driving, personal cultivation, wholesale distribution and retail models.
To read the Cannabis Regulation in B.C.: What We Heard report on public and stakeholder engagement, or to learn more about the engagement process, visit: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/BCcannabisregulation/