B.C. releases updated cannabis rules ahead of Oct. 17

(Photo: Flickr/cagrimmett)

The B.C. government issued a press release on Oct. 5 stating “new and amended” regulations are in place for B.C.’s soon-to-be legal cannabis regime.

The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act replaces the July 2018 Interim Licensing Regulation and set out rules regarding everything from retail store and marketing licences to where citizens can light up.

Opening cannabis products, or smoking of cannabis is banned in all retail stores, for example.

No one is allowed to advertise itself as a place to consume cannabis – or a place to go after getting high.

As the government has previously stated, 1,000 grams of dried cannabis (or equivalent) is the maximum amount an individual can possess in “non-public” places, like at home.

Where can you use recreational pot?

No smoking or vaping is going to be allowed in indoor public places, except in a designated room at assisted living or retirement facilities or hospitals, or in a hotel room by registered guests (the hotel may choose to prohibit).

Just like cigarettes, smoking or vaping of cannabis is banned within six metres of doorways, windows, air intakes of public buildings, bus stops or bus shelters. It’s also banned on public patios.

Don’t try to light up on any sidewalks or boulevards next to a school property, either, which is also banned. As is smoking or vaping cannabis in regional and municipal parks – but it will be allowed at designated campsites.

No smoking of vaping of cannabis in provincial parks either, but the government says there will be “designated smoking areas.”

Just like alcohol, cannabis use is banned on boats,  except when in an assigned enclosed cabin on a commercially operated boat (the operator may still prohibit), or on a boat with sleeping accommodations, kitchen facilities and a toilet when moored or anchored.

And don’t think about smoking pot while you’re driving, as cannabis use in vehicles is a big no-no. Although, it will be allowed in motorhomes or other motor vehicles, or campers or trailers when parked off a public road or forest service road where camping is allowed and when being used as a private residence.

Anyone found in violation will face similar fines that would apply to liquor and tobacco. Smoking cannabis in a prohibited place will mean a $230 fine, and vaping in a prohibited place will mean a $58 ticket.

What is banned?

First on the list of things that aren’t allowed is “cannabis delivery service,” unless otherwise authorized.

Any brand that suggests a company is associated with the government is also off limits.

The new act also states medical and non-medical cannabis production will continue to be excluded from agricultural uses that qualify for farm classification, other than industrial hemp under the federal Industrial Hemp Regulations.

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