Northern BC governments are more than capable of deciding what kind of cannabis retailers and businesses they want to have.
That’s according to provincial Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, who also feels confident more non-medical marijuana markets will open in the coming months following today’s legalization.
He believes challenges with applications will vary, but the legislature is neither dazed or confused.
“We are ready for it. Many of those stores that have voluntarily closed existing dispensaries have in fact made applications to become legal stores,” Farnworth said.
“We were really clear right from the get-go that local communities will have a say and that we’ve always maintained that it was not going to happen overnight.”
Farnworth also claims the BC government’s pricing system is just as competitive as other markets.
With currently one regulated BC Cannabis Store based in Kamloops, prices start as low as seven dollars-per-gram and consumers can only buy up to 30 grams per visit.
“Additional licensed cannabis retail stores will open in the coming months, as private cannabis retailers proceed through the regulatory and permit process overseen by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch,” stated a news release.
“Private and public retailers will be allowed to sell dried cannabis, cannabis oils, capsules and seeds that comply with federal requirements. These stores may also sell cannabis accessories, as defined in the federal Cannabis Act, such as rolling papers, pipes, and bongs.”
Dispensary Mary Jane’s Glass and Gifts in Williams Lake which was operating Tuesday, said today that it is closed until further notice.
A number of criminal offenses are still intact despite today’s legalization according to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association:
- A person 18 or older distributing cannabis to a minor
- Possessing a budding or flowering plant in public – anyone who is moving and wants to take their plants with can do so but cannot have any buds or flowers on them. Residents can move up to four plants in a public place.
- Selling Cannabis without a license
- Possessing any illicit cannabis or growing a plant from an illicit cannabis seed – illicit cannabis is when it was sold, produced or distributed from a person that was banned from doing so. If someone grows more than four recreational plants at home, that’s considered illicit cannabis along with several other examples.
- Driving while high – it is still considered illegal either by alcohol or drugs, however, new provisions make it a crime to have certain levels of THC in your blood within two hours of having operated a motor vehicle.
- An adult possessing more than 30 seeds or more than two pans of brownies in a public place –a seed is deemed to be equivalent to a gram and to make sure trays of pot brownies don’t weigh more than 450 grams.
- Importing or exporting cannabis without legal consent – simply put, it is illegal to take cannabis across the border in either direction without a specific license. It is also against the law to have recreational marijuana for the purpose of exporting it.
- Cultivating or harvesting cannabis outside your home – it’s a crime to grow cannabis at a place outside your home unless you’re an authorized producer or a medical marijuana user.
- Distributing cannabis to an organization – while it is legal to give away weed for free, you cannot give it to someone such as a courier to assist with a delivery.
- No more than four plants – growing more than four plants is considered against the law and you need to make sure that includes your shed, yard, and garage.
(With Files from Kyle Balzer and Brendan Pawliw with MyPrinceGeorgeNow)