April 26, 2018

On April 26, 2018, the provincial government announced legislation to provide for legal, controlled access to non-medical cannabis in British Columbia via the Cannabis Distribution Act (CDA) and the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA). You can read the government’s announcement here.

In brief, these two bills establish:

  • A public wholesale distribution monopoly; and
  • Public (government-run) retail sales, both in stores and online.

Additionally, the acts propose a number of other important matters including:

  • Set 19 as the provincial minimum age to purchase sell or consume cannabis;
  • Allow adults to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in a public place;
  • Prohibit cannabis smoking and vaping everywhere tobacco smoking and vaping are prohibited, as well as at playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks and other places where children commonly gather;
  • Prohibit the use of cannabis on school properties and in vehicles;
  • Authorize adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household. However, the plants must not be visible from public spaces off the property, and home cultivation will be banned in homes used as day cares;
  • Establish a cannabis retail licensing regime similar to the current licensing regime for liquor;
  • Provide enforcement authority to deal with illegal sales;
  • Create a number of provincial cannabis offences which may result in a fine ranging from $2,000 to $100,000, imprisonment of three to 12 months, or both; and
  • Where necessary, to comply with charter rights and human rights law, exemptions will be provided to individuals who are federally authorized to purchase, possess and consume medical cannabis.

We will circulate a more detailed analysis of the proposed act shortly. In the meantime, if you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact Jeff Guignard, Executive Director, at jeff@ablebc.ca.

LDB announces retail brand for non-medical cannabis

On April 26, 2018, the LDB also announced their retail brand for non-medical cannabis. Once legalized, public cannabis stores and the online retail store for non-medical cannabis will operate under the brand, BC Cannabis Stores.

The LDB writes: “The name and brand aligns with the BC Liquor Stores brand and will be used on store signage and printed materials. Developed in-house, the brand will be used as the LDB creates a new and separate business operation to support the wholesale distribution and sale of non-medical cannabis.

The LDB expects to open the first government-operated retail store and to implement an e-commerce solution to offer online sales to the public, by the end of summer 2018, to ensure British Columbians have access to non-medical cannabis once legalized.

Retail stores (both government and private) will only be permitted to sell a maximum of 30 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent in oil) to an individual at one time. BC Cannabis Stores will be the province’s sole online cannabis retailer.”

Read the full announcement here.

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