Pot in B.C. to be sold in public and private stores; minimum age to buy and use is 19

Pot in B.C. to be sold in public and private stores; minimum age to buy and use is 19

  • Dec. 9, 2017 1:30 a.m.

Marijuana will be sold in public and private retailers in B.C. when the federal government enacts legalization next summer. The provincial NDP government released policy decisions on Tuesday, including the fact non-medicinal pot will be sold under a retail model that includes “public and private retail opportunities.” The government did not say what those “opportunities” will be or whether selling marijuana privately will be decided via an auction, as the previous B.C. Liberal government conducted for VQA wine licences. The government said more information on how the public/private retail sale of marijuana will work will be released next year. In addition to a public and private retail sales scheme, Victoria has set 19 as the minimum age to possess, purchase and use cannabis, while the The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch will be the wholesale distributor of marijuana in the province. From Sept. 25 to Nov. 1, the government asked for input on a range of issues related to the regulation of non-medical pot in B.C., including minimum age, personal possession, public consumption, drug-impaired driving, personal cultivation, wholesale distribution and retail models. Government heard from 48,951 British Columbians and received submissions from 141 local and Indigenous governments and a range of other interested parties. “Looking at the responses received, it’s clear that British Columbians support the priorities of protecting young people, health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping roads safe, which will guide the province in developing B.C.’s regulatory framework for non-medical cannabis,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth in a news release. Premier John Horgan is scheduled to hold a press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. to discuss these policy decisions. Sandra Tully of Moms Stop the Harm forwarded an email to KTW from the organization with its reaction to the government’s announcement. The group said it supports “legalization from a harm-reduction perspective. “The current unregulated illegal market is far more dangerous for users and especially young people than a government-regulated market will be. Dealers do not check your ID. We support all measures that reduce the likelihood of youth and young people to use cannabis and we ask that tax dollars generated from cannabis sales are invested in education, prevention and harm reduction.” Tully’s son Ryan Pinneo died from a fentanyl overdose last year, To read the Cannabis Regulation in B.C.: What We Heard report go online to http://engage.gov.bc.ca/BCcannabisregulation/