With just one, lonely B.C. cannabis store set to open in Kamloops on legalization day this Wednesday, it’s safe to assume the majority of sales will be done online.
But where online do British Columbians need to go to order their pot?
The B.C. government has revealed where it will sell weed online: via bccannabisstores.com.
The URL is not yet live, and greets visitors with a “coming soon” message. Officials say it’s expected to be up and running some time this Wednesday, Oct. 17.
In July, the B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch entered into memorandums of understanding with 32 licensed producers to form its initial wholesale product assortment to cater to the B.C. market directly following legalization of non-medical cannabis on Oct. 17.
The government says B.C. will start with 150 strains available, and all retailers will be allowed to sell dried cannabis, cannabis oils, capsules and seeds that comply with federal requirements.
So when will private stores open in B.C.?
That remains to be seen, but B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth announced today that of the 173 paid cannabis retail applications that have been submitted, the provincial government has approved 63. But those still require municipal approval before the businesses are considered licensed.
Meantime, while Canada has 2,895 liquor stores, Statistics Canada estimates that just 288 cannabis stores will open across the country by the end of 2018.
The Cannabis Act outlines the following rules for legal cannabis:
- Sets 19 as the provincial minimum age to purchase sell or consume cannabis;
- Allows adults to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in a public place;
- Prohibits cannabis smoking and vaping everywhere tobacco smoking and vaping are prohibited, as well as at playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks, and other places where children commonly gather;
- Prohibits the use of cannabis on school properties and in vehicles;
- Authorizes adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, but the plants must not be visible from public spaces off the property, and home cultivation will be banned in homes used as day-cares;
- Establishes a cannabis retail licensing regime similar to the current licensing regime for liquor;
- Provides enforcement authority to deal with illegal sales;
- Creates a number of provincial cannabis offences which may result in a fine ranging from $2,000 to $100,000, imprisonment of three to 12 months, or both; and
- Where necessary, to comply with Charter Rights and human rights law, exemptions will provide to individuals who are federally authorized to purchase, possess and consume medical cannabis.
The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act is guided by the Province’s priorities of “protecting children and youth, promoting health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis, keeping B.C. roads safe, and supporting economic development.”