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B.C. unveils pot plans: marijuana to be sold in standalone government stores, separate from liquor – British Columbia

The B.C. government has begun filling in the details surrounding its plans for regulating and selling non-medical marijuana.

Most notably, liquor stores will not be allowed to sell cannabis, with the B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) creating and operating a new standalone network of public retail stores.

The legal age of possession will be 19, with adults allowed to possess up to 30 grams of non-medical cannabis.

Other important details include the following:

  • Cannabis will not be allowed inside vehicles (unless in a sealed package or an inaccessible place) and those caught driving while impaired will be given a 90-day prohibition.
  • Adults will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, but they may not be visible from public spaces, and landlords and strata councils will have the right to ban cultivation.
  • Smoking and vaping of non-medical cannabis will be banned in beaches, parks, playgrounds and other places “frequented by children,” according to the government. 

The government is expected to implement the regulations through a series of bills during the upcoming legislative session, so they can be in place by the time non-medical cannabis is legalized this July. 

Individuals and businesses will be allowed to begin early registration for retail licences later this spring. There will be no cap on the number of licences, but local governments will have veto power, with “the authority to make local decisions, based on the needs of their communities.”

Stores will be allowed open between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. and must be self-contained businesses, except in rural areas. Children will not be allowed to enter the building and samples will not be allowed.

The government has not created a framework around pricing, and edibles will not be allowed until regulation around them is created by the federal government, which is expected within a year of legalization. 

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth will be providing more details this afternoon.

More to come.


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