The BC government has set guidelines for recreational marijuana in the province, once it becomes legal next July.
The minimum age to possess, purchase, and consume cannabis will be 19, same as for alcohol.
A government-run model will be used for distribution model, using the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.
The retail model is expected to include both public and private opportunities, with more details early next year.
Public safety minister Mike Farnworth says the guidelines were formed after getting input from more than 48-thousand residents in a survey.
“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,” says Farnworth.
* Minimum age
British Columbia will set the minimum age to possess, purchase and consume cannabis at 19 years old. A minimum age of 19 is consistent with B.C.’s minimum age for alcohol and tobacco and with the age of majority in B.C.
* Wholesale distribution of cannabis
Like other provinces, B.C. will have a government-run wholesale distribution model. The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be the wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis in B.C.
* Retail of cannabis
The Province anticipates establishing a retail model that includes both public and private retail opportunities and will share details regarding the model in early 2018.
Farnworth says the policy decisions announced today also reflect feedback from the local government members of the Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation (JCCR) and are endorsed by the Union of B.C. Municipalities executive.
“We thank all British Columbians who provided their input during the important public and stakeholder engagement process,” says Farnworth. “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.”
B.C. still has a number of key decisions to make as it prepares for the legalization of cannabis. These decisions will be informed by the feedback collected through the public and stakeholder engagement, and on-going consultation with local and Indigenous governments and other key stakeholders.