Now that the provincial government has decided to allow both private and government-operated retail stores to sell non-medical cannabis,
the BC Liquor Distribution Branch is preparing its program
It says it expects to open the first government-operated recreational cannabis retail store by late summer and has begun exploring an e-commerce model to offer online sales to the public.
General Manager and CEO Blain Lawson says the public retail model will be phased in over time after a wholesale distribution system is established.
The LDB’s top focus will be on ensuring safe, responsible sales of non-medical cannabis and helping to ensure the product stays out of the hands of minors.
The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch will be launching an application portal for individuals and businesses interested in applying for a private non-medical cannabis retail license this spring.
Public and private non-medical cannabis retail stores will be permitted to sell dried cannabis, cannabis oils that comply with federal requirements and seeds.
These stores may also sell cannabis accessories, as defined in the proposed federal Cannabis Act, such as rolling papers, holders, pipes, bongs, etc.
Cannabis edibles are expected to be available within 12 months of legalization, as determined by the federal government.
* The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be the sole, wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis for the province and will also operate stand-alone, public retail stores and provide online sales.
* The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch will be responsible for licensing private non-medical cannabis retail stores and monitoring compliance of both public and private stores.
* LDB has issued a request for proposals for an e-commerce solution and will have more information about timelines and how this solution will work in the coming months.
* Nova Scotia and Northwest Territories are the only jurisdictions in North America that plan to pair alcohol and cannabis sales. No U.S. state that has legalized cannabis allows co-location of the two products.
* Retail stores (both government and private) will only be allowed to sell a maximum of 30 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent in oil) to an individual at one time.
* Private retail stores will not be permitted to offer online sales.
* Unlike liquor stores, minors will not be permitted to enter non-medical cannabis retail stores, even if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
There may be exceptions for rural businesses.
LDB Cannabis: http://www.bcldbcannabisupdates.com
Liquor Control and Licensing Branch: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/liquor-regulation-licensing/cannabis-regulation