February 5th, 2018
Only cannabis and cannabis accessories will be on the shelves in legal marijuana dispensaries in B.C come July. The prohibition is one of several details Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth released Monday. Countless more will come out in the next few months before the new era of legal cannabis arrives in Canada on July 1. Farnworth said the government’s adaptation will carry on for a long time after that. And a lot of the further details will involve municipal governments, which have significant say in shaping the retail landscape and have been grappling with how to do so.
July is only the beginning…
All governments will be assessing and refining the regimes being put in place for months and years to come.
B.C. is the one taking shape, looks to be a middle-of-the-road approach comparable to what other provinces are putting together. Cannabis will be sold in both public and private stores, but only the government-run side will be able to offer online sales. Various sensible restrictions are imposed, but public use will be allowed, although not in high-traffic areas like parks or beaches. Other jurisdictions allow use only in private dwellings.
Interest groups urged Farnworth to allow cannabis to be sold in through B.C. liquor stores, but he was warned off that idea by public health officials who didn’t want to see alcohol and marijuana available together. Very few jurisdictions are going that route, so the government stores will be stand-alone cannabis-only shops. And there are no distance limits from schools or other retailers, although municipalities can set them.
The decision to sell separately from alcohol will involve building a brand-new network of dozens of government stores from a standing start. A separate wholesale system is also planned.
That is only one part of the tens of millions in up-front costs B.C. will incur, well before it starts bringing income in, by way of sales and taxes. Which means mark up on Marijuana and weed vape products.