BC government releases plan for recreational marijuana

Lester Mason
December 6, 2017

The NDP government has announced a hybrid retail model for recreational marijuana sales in which government will control distribution, but with the private sector allowed to participate in retail sales.

Under the proposed law, the federal government would be responsible for regulating production and setting health and safety standards.

"We will continue to consider your opinions as we further develop policy and legislation that is in the best interests of this province, ensuring a made-in-B.C. approach to the legalization of non-medical cannabis that will keep our roads and communities safe, protect young people, and promote public health and safety".

British Columbia will set the minimum age to possess, purchase and consume cannabis at 19 years old.

Almost 50,000 British Columbians offered their input during provincial consultations this fall, plus more than 140 municipalities and First Nations, Farnworth's ministry stated in the release.

Darryl Dyck/CANADIAN PRESS A woman smokes a joint during the annual 4/20 cannabis culture celebration at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on April 20, 2017.

Similar to framework introduced by other provinces, the Liquor Distribution Branch will also be the wholesale distributor for non-medical cannabis in B.C.

A report that was released today alongside the announcement said that many British Columbians were explicitly opposed to the idea of a government-retail monopoly, specifically like the one enacted in Ontario.

There were also polarized views on drug-impaired driving. The report added that "most of these individuals preferred to see the existing dispensaries and their supply chain legitimized, licensed, and regulated".

British Columbians are getting their first look at how the provincial government plans to implement legalized marijuana, including a minimum age of 19 for possession and consumption.

Despite concerns expressed by some municipalities and critics of drug-related crime, Farnworth said that public safety remains top of mind as his government moves forward to meet Ottawa's reforms, a key plank in the federal Liberals' election platform.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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