BC’s Public Safety Minister is confident the government is ready for the rollout of recreational sales of marijuana October 17th.
Mike Farnworth tells CJIB News a few minor regulations still have to go to cabinet and the application process for private stores is underway.
“It’s going to take time for everything to ramp up but three months from now you’ll see more legal stores open. Another three months after that you’ll see a lot more. By next spring I think you’ll really start to notice a difference.
No store in Vernon will have a provincial licence by the 17th.
Farnworth says any existing store can apply but has to meet city guidelines first before the province does its own background check.
“If the City of Vernon says ‘No’ we don’t like that location, we’re not going to give you approval for you to have a licence, then obviously they will not get a provincial licence and the reality is that they will not be able to continue in operation.”
Any stores that do open without that licence will be breaking the law.
“They woiud be illegal. That is correct. In terms of enforcement, there’s two streams of enforcement. One-similar to liquor and you have liquor inspectors that inspect licenced establishments to ensure that they’re complying with the liquor laws of the province. the same will be for cannabis, there will be cannabis inspectors.”
There will also be an enforcement unit within his Ministry that will be looking for any stores that do not get municipal approval or sell online illegally.
Any of the current stores that do reopen after getting a licence won’t be selling some of what they do now, including edibles.
“The federal government has laid out what is legal product. It has to come from a licenced producer that has been tested and quality assured and edible sat this time are not approved for sale in this country.”
Essentially, they’ve been selling those illegally all along but there’s been no enforcement.
Farnworth doesn’t know when a government store would open in Vernon.
He says the liquor Distribution Branch is responsible for asking cities if they want one.
Farnworth says both the government store in Kamloops and the online component will be ready to go.